No overnight attempts to illegally cross Estonian border from Russia at Narva

The bridge connectng Estonia and Russia at Narva on November 16.
The bridge connectng Estonia and Russia at Narva on November 16. Source: Aleksandr Krasnoumov/ERR

In an interview with ETV's "Terevisioon" show, Marek Liiva, head of the Narva border crossing checkpoint, said there had been no new attempts to enter Estonia illegally from Russia via Narva on Friday night.

"The night has been calm and there was no repetition of the day's events during the night," Liiva said at 7 a.m. on Friday.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. Border control is underway with reinforced teams. We are well prepared for a possible repeat of yesterday's events," Liiva added.

During the same program, at 7.40 a.m., Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) said that Estonia had no data on how many refugees Russia could be attempting to push into Estonia. Läänemets added that Estonia is well prepared for every eventuality.

"We are already carrying out preliminary checks right on the border [bridge] so that no one can get to the border crossing without a reason," Läänemets said, speaking about the Narva border crossing. On Thursday evening, concrete barriers could be seen on the bridge, which connects Estonia and Russia.

"If a situation arises whereby people begin getting caught between the two border crossings, we would have to close the Narva border crossing to prevent that," Läänemets said.

"The most difficult thing would be if the crossings started to take place outside the border crossing points, on the green borders. However, we are prepared for that," he added.

On Thursday, 19 Somali and Syrian citizens arrived at Estonia's eastern border, attempting to enter the country from the Narva border crossing point without the legal right to do so.

On Thursday evening, Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Director Egert Belitšev told ERR, that there is no major pressure on the Estonian border at the moment. However, he added, the state is prepared to close border crossing points if necessary.

Eight Somali citizens arrived at the Narva border crossing point on Thursday morning, seeking to enter the EU via Estonia, but as they had no legal basis, they were sent back to Russia. Later, seven Syrian citizens tried to do the same. Later still, a further four Somali citizens did so too, Belitšev said.

"They all used the same tactic, that is, that they have been expelled from Russia, although they have no right to enter the EU," he added.

According to Belitšev, all 19 people returned to Russia and none sought international protection from Estonia.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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