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Narva border crossing only open to pedestrians from February

The border between Estonia and Russia in Narva.
The border between Estonia and Russia in Narva. Source: Dmitri Fedotkin / ERR

The Narva-Ivangorod border crossing will be closed to vehicles in both directions from February 1 until the end of 2025 due to Russia's planned reconstruction work. It will be only possible to cross the bridge on foot during this time.

Deputy Director General at Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) Veiko Kommusaar said although there are currently no indications that major construction work will start next week, Estonia is still proceeding from the official information. 

"Therefore, we will close the border crossing to vehicles from February 1. If the Russian side informs us of new information – for example, that repairs have been completed – we will review the working arrangements at the border crossing again," Kommusaar said in a statement.

PPA estimates the number of crossings will drop by up to 20 percent as cars, buses, and trucks will not be able to cross.

Veiko Kommusaar Source: ERR

Almost 75 percent of crossings in Narva are already made on foot.

From February, passengers traveling by bus will have to get off at the border and cross on foot to catch a different bus.

Due to the reduction in traffic, the PPA will also redistrict staff across its service to try and fill vacancies. At the moment approximately 100 people work at the border and this will drop to 80 next month, Kommusaar said.

"In particular, we want to strengthen surveillance at the green border," Kommusaar said.

A coach to St Peterburg crossing the Estonian-Russian border on November 18, 2023. Source: Dmitri Fedotkin/ERR

Ursula Riimaa, deputy director general of the Tax and Customs Board, said there will still be a big focus on sanctions compliance at the border.

"Tax and Customs Board's focus will continue to be checking of sanctioned goods, and the closure of the Narva border crossing point to vehicles does not change this," she said.

The PPA reiterated that it does not recommend visiting Russia.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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