To exercise procedures and cooperation with their Latvian counterparts, the Police and Border Guard Board are temporarily reintroducing border checks along the Estonian-Latvian border.
According to the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), the exercise is focused on logistics and planning. "The exercise is one of several to prepare for different situations that may arise in connection with Estonia's presidency of the Council of the European Union," Helen Neider-Veerme, head of PPA's integrated border administration, said.
Taking up border checks again was a lot of work, Neider-Veerme said, which made it necessary to practice all the related procedures regularly instead of just having a plan in place.
Checks will be temporarily reintroduced at Valga, Mõisaküla, Vastse-Roosa, Murati, and Ikla. There will be patrols along the border, with random checks at other points, so travellers are asked to carry identification as well as their vehicle's papers. Where the exercise may lead to delays, PPA is asking for people's understanding.
At the same time, the police also said that no roads would be closed completely for the exercise.
After the introduction of the Schengen zone in 2007, Estonia gave up checks along EU-internal borders. Since then, checks were temporarily reintroduced on just two occasions, namely in 2010 for the meeting of NATO's foreign ministers, and in 2014 for the time of U.S. president Barack Obama's visit.
Editor: Dario Cavegn