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Estonia's eastern border to be completed by the end of 2025

Border construction in South-Eastern Estonia.
Border construction in South-Eastern Estonia. Source: Leevi Lillemäe/ERR

The land infrastructure on Estonia's eastern border will be completed by the end of 2025, and part of it should be equipped with surveillance equipment by then. The entire border might be finished by 2027, with enough financing.

"We expect land border infrastructure to be in place by the end of 2025 and surveillance equipment by the end of 2026. It is clearly budgeted and designed," Janek Mägi, the head of the border guard policy department of the Ministry of Interior, said on Monday at a public session of the special committee on the control of the state budget in the Riigikogu.

Mägi said that the construction of monitoring systems for the Narva River is going on in parallel, with the construction of 15 monitoring stations currently underway.

"We have the money for the monitoring positions but we are still looking for possibilities and funds to finance monitoring equipment," Mägi added. He referred to the various European Union funds from which money is being sought, as well as support from the United States.

Mägi added that, according to the vision currently being prepared, the eastern border could be completed by the end of 2027, if the funds are available, and at today's prices this requires an additional €55 million.

Border construction in South-Eastern Estonia. Autor/allikas: Leevi Lillemäe/ERR

"Our vision is that the border will be 100 percent covered by technical surveillance, that everything will be visible, that we will be able to see low-flying objects, including drones," Mägi said.

Mägi added that the government has expedited border building owing to external circumstances, most recently when Belarusian dictator Aleksander Lukashenko launched a border attack against the neighboring countries.

"While the land border infrastructure was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026, the 2021 decisions brought this [deadline] forward to the end of 2025," he said.

Egert Belitšev, the director general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) also stressed at the meeting that the infrastructure of the land part of the eastern border: roads, fences, access roads will be completed by the end of 2025, as agreed.

This includes the entire land border, with the exception of a section near Värska, where the natural barriers are so good that building infrastructure is not as critical, Belitšev said.

"Perhaps everything up to this section will be built by 2025 and partially covered by monitoring equipment by then as well," he said.

Border. Source: Leevi Lillemäe/ERR

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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