Eastern border development work
Eastern border development vision
In 2014, a development vision for the eastern border was released, setting out various solutions for development of border infrastructure. At the same time, an eastern border construction working group started activity. IT includes all interest groups. In cooperation, the needs of the eastern border programme were described and development activities were planned in order to be gradually implemented.
Marking locations of border posts
A 2015 government regulation laid down the coordinates of the temporary control line between Estonia and Russia. The Estonian border posts were purchased and their future locations were marked along the entire land border.
The first Estonian border post
In 2015, border post no. 2 was installed on the eastern border, marking the start of construction work along the temporary control line.
The design procurement
In 2015, a procurement for design of patrol paths along the land border and the River Narva was carried out, and geodetic investigations started.
Clearing of the border strip
In 2014, the State Forest Management Centre launched clearing work along the land border between Estonia and Russia, which were completed by 2016. The work along a 136 km long, 366-hectare area consisted of reconditioning the area and clearing forest – trees and bushes were cut down, vegetation cover was mowed, deadwood was removed from the strip and tree branches pruned, and border ditches were cleaned and restored. The area was cleared at a width of 10 m on average, but in some places, a corridor up to 300 m wide was cleared. To maintain the cleared border strip, the border rivers were dredged and border strip mowing procurements were held for contracting for the annual maintenance activities along the completed border strip to keep the environment clear.
Construction of three-country point
In 2016, border strip clearing and construction work was completed at the point where three countries – Estonia, Latvia and Russia – meet. Border post no. 1 was installed here.
Appraisal and acquisition of land
In 2015, a procurement will be held for appraisal of land to be transferred and negotiations began with private land owners. During the design work, it turned out that border infrastructure will in some places be built outside the border strip, resulting in a need to expropriate some additional land. Negotiations with land owners are under way and are currently expected to run until late 2019.
Electricity connection points
Establishment of electricity connection points will be launched in 2017 along the border in order to develop the land portion of the eastern border. Of the connection points, 16 were under construction and 11 in the design phase as of 2018.
In 2017, command points of the Piusa border guard station; and the Luhamaa and Värska services were completed. They have the capability of processing information coming in from monitoring systems.
Completion of test segments
In 2018, two 1.6 km test segments equipped with monitoring systems were completed on the south-eastern border, of which one was established on a marshier area and the other on a drier area. The purpose of establishing these test segments was to test alternative options on different types of terrain, test out solutions proposed by designers on the terrain and to thereby find the best solutions for the final construction of border infrastructure. The construction work on the test segment showed that a 10m border strip would not be enough for ensuring the reliability of the infrastructure, as a result of which negotiations continued with land owners. In total, the expansion of the border strip affects 234 private land owners.
In 2018, nine military drones were procured for ensuring border security.
Floating marks on the Peipus lakes
In 2018, the last yellow spar buoys were laid on Lake Peipus and connected lakes, which finalized the marking of the border regime area. A total of 130 yellow spar buoys were launched as part of the marking operations on the Peipus and connected lakes, over a distance of 126 kilometres. The 51 spar buoys to the south of Piirissaar island on lakes Lämmijärv and Pskov and the 45 spar buoys in Narva Reservoir are in the water year-round, but the 79 ones to the north of Piirissaar are seasonal and must be removed from the water during the ice period. Also in 2018, 11 lighted year-round ice-class buoys were installed in the border regime area in the Peipus and connected lakes for testing.
Marking of the border strip with border posts
In 2018, work on the control line between Estonia and Russia reached the home stretch: 780 Estonian border posts and interim border posts were installed. In addition, another 76 border posts are planned to be installed on the south-eastern border on lands that under the border treaty are subject to be swapped with Russia.
Marking of the border strip with warning signs
In 2018, the process of marking the border regime area with new warning signs reached the final phase. This prevents inadvertent border crossings during challenging natural conditions. In total, 1,130 warning signs were installed on the land part of the eastern border, the majority of which are in the Piusa and Luhamaa border segments. The new signs are weather-resistant and durable, and the information signboard on a convex surface is visible from a distance and in the dark.
Renovation of Vaniku artificial lake
A transboundary body of water known locally as Lake Vanigõjärv had to be developed to allow the border to be marked and guarded. In 2017, the bottom of this artificial lake was dredged on the Estonian side, and the dam and spillway were renovated. This resulted in significant improvement of the quality of the ecological environment and the general state of the lake. In addition, these lake renovation works will also allow visitors and locals to enjoy leisure time in a natural scenic location.
Monitoring capability on the River Narva
In 2019, three new radar towers equipped with cameras were procured for the Vasknarva and Permisküla area of the River Narva, making it easier to respond to incidents taking place on this transboundary body of water. In addition, it is planned to cover the entirety of the river with modern surveillance and monitoring equipment, which means establishing an additional 15 radar positions. The procurement for establishing the next five radar positions will be announced in autumn 2019.
Development of the KILP information system
In 2015, a procurement for the design of the KILP border information system was prepared. In 2017, testing of the system’s first modules was launched. The smart state border security management information system KILP provides a real-time overview of conditions on the border, allowing to prepare risk analyses and speeding up the exchange of information.
South-eastern border construction procurement
In 2019, the construction procurement for the first phase of the south-eastern border construction was announced in order to find a bidder who will build the border infrastructure along a 23.5 km long border segment from the three-country point to Luhamaa border crossing point. If the procurement goes according to plan, the contract will be awarded in autumn 2019 and construction will start by early 2020 at the latest. The duration of the construction on this border segment is expected to be 2 to 2.5 years.
Construction procurements for subsequent border segments
The construction procurements for the subsequent border segments will be prepared continuously. The final price of each border segment will be determined as a result of the construction procurements.
In 2018, the renovation of the Saatse border guard station and the design development of Narva border guard station will be started to create the capability for processing information received from monitoring systems.