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Estonia's eastern border monitoring system sees 5 failures in 6 months

A section of the temporary border line separating Estonia and Russia near Piusa in Southeastern Estonia.
A section of the temporary border line separating Estonia and Russia near Piusa in Southeastern Estonia. Source: (Tauno Tõhk/Government Office)

According to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the monitoring systems on Estonia's eastern have partially stopped working on several occasions over the last half a year, pointing to the need to find additional funding for the maintenance of the PPA's IT systems.

Deputy Director Genreal of the PPA Tauno Tuisk told BNS that radar positions connected to the border guard were built and taken into use in 2006, and it was estimated then that their lifespan would bbbe 20 years if regularly maintained. "Therefore a large-scale updating of monitoring systems and radar positions is on the agenda in 2025, and until then we must ensure that what we have is in working order," said Tuisk, adding that with each passing year, this would get more expensive.

According to Tuisk, in the past six months, five incidents of critical importance have occurred in the monitoring systems on Estona's eastern border. These incidents occurred as a result of human error as well as issues with hardware or software. "This means that a radar has stopped working and therefore isn't delivering the necessary information about a specific part of the border," he explained. "Although radars have been placed so that they partially overlap each other's zones, a radar being out of order still causes problems."

The latest such incident occurred a few days back when a tree fell on power lines — a failure occurred and the radar position was powered by a generator, which soon stopped working due to a technical failure, causing the radar to stop working. According to the deputy director general, the radars were out of order for hours and on one occasion for even 30 hours.

According to Tuisk, the PPA has mapped the issues and calculcated that €400,000 of additional funds would need to be contributed to the maintenance and updating of border guard monitoring systems. If no additional funding is found, the PPA's monitoring technicians would have to focus on repair work instead of focusing on IT development.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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