A temporary barrier of up to 40 kilometres will be built on the eastern border as part of the additional reservist training Okas. A razor wire fence will be installed in up to ten locations where the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) considers the risk of illegal border crossings to be highest.
Elmar Vaher, Director General of the PBGB, emphasised that there have been no changes to the threat assessment regarding the Estonian borders and there is currently no immediate danger of increasing migratory pressure. “The developments in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia also call for the strengthening of the border infrastructure in Estonia, which is why the Police and Border Guard Board proposed to the government to speed up the construction of the border. The government’s decision allows us to partially reinforce the border with a temporary barrier, which will be built in up to ten border sections during the additional reservist training Okas,” he noted.
According to Vaher, the installation of razor wire is a temporary solution to ensure border security. “We are moving forward with the construction of the state border as a matter of urgency, as it is the most important factor in preventing mass immigration. Security experts estimate that migratory pressure will be used as a method of hybrid warfare for years to come and physical barriers need to be accompanied by the entire border infrastructure with surveillance equipment in order to deter and prevent it,” he said.
Kristian Jaani, the Minister of the Interior, remarked that 63 kilometres of the state border is currently under construction, while 25 kilometres of it are now equipped with a border fence. “The temporary barrier to be built during the additional reservist training allows us to physically close off the locations with the highest likelihood of illegal border crossings and places that currently lack border infrastructure,” said Jaani.
A temporary barrier will be erected in places where illegal border crossings are more likely to take place, such as areas that have been used to organise illegal migration in the past or locations where the natural environment facilitates illegal border crossings.
In selecting the sites, the PBGB also took into account the next stages in the construction of the eastern border. Barriers will be installed in locations where no active construction activities are planned for the next two years.
The Defence Forces have approximately 120 km of razor wire, which will be used as a temporary barrier and installed in three layers. A total of up to 40 km of barriers can be erected and the construction will focus on the land border.
A temporary barrier will be installed in the border sections during the additional reservist training of the Defence Forces and with the support of reservists. Reservists are the main contributors to the construction.
Construction will begin after the formation of the additional reservist training, while the installation of the barrier is one of the tasks of this training.
The aim of the additional reservist training Okas (which means "pine needle") is to check combat readiness in relation to the national defense chain of command, from the decision-making of the government to the gathering of reservists in the rapid reaction structure. Co-operation with the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will be practiced.