Narva border sees quiet weekend

Narva-1 Border crossing point
Narva-1 Border crossing point Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

No incidents connected with illegal migration or a "hybrid attack" occurred at the Narva border over the weekend. City residents are concerned a new wave for refugees could lead to the closure of the border with Russia.

The border was secured with extra wire barriers two years ago after Belarus' regime launched a "hybrid attack" on Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland which saw thousands of illegal immigrants try and cross their borders into the EU. In recent weeks, similar activity has taken place in Finland.

Additionally, 20 Somalis and Syrians tried to enter Estonia last week. None of those who arrived at the Estonian border had the correct documents. Russia does not usually allow such people to leave its territory.

Over the weekend, nearly 70 people were sent back from the border, but this has nothing to do with a migration crisis, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) said. The majority were from Moldova.

"Currently, the majority of attempted border crossings are led by third-country nationals, former socialist countries or member states of the Soviet Union. Some people may simply be coming here to register their exit from the Russian Federation and then return," Narva border crossing manager Marek Liiva told Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

The PPA does not rule out closing the border if an uptick in activity is seen. Last week the Finnish border guard closed four crossings in the southeast of the country. Narva residents are worried.

"We can't see our relatives anymore, it's bad. It's not allowed. Where is freedom? Is it only on paper? You have to ask the government questions. Narva and Jaanilinn (Ivangorod) are inseparable," said resident Maksim.

"This is not right. People go there to visit relatives and people come here. If the border is closed, how will we get there? No way," said Antonina, who lives in Narva.

Usually, around 4,000 people cross the border in Narva per day. This number could rise now that the Finns have closed some of their borders.

More than 400 asylum seekers have tried to enter Finland this month, the usual number is below 30.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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