Ukrainian border guards are also working at the eastern border of Estonia

Today, five Ukrainian border guards started to work, as observers, at the eastern border of Estonia to contribute to the improvement of cooperation and the exchange of best practices with Ukraine in the field of border activities. Ukrainian border guards arrived at our eastern border with the assistance of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex.

Ukrainian border guards are currently working at Narva and Luhamaa Border Crossing Points where they observe checks at the Estonian border. If necessary, Estonian colleagues can use the background knowledge of Ukrainian border guards about Ukraine. This knowledge also makes clearer what the journey has been for those coming from Ukraine, where they want to continue their journey and how the state of Estonia can help them. Based on additional information verified through Ukrainian officials, Estonian border guards can decide faster whether to allow a person to cross the border and also provide faster assistance to a person in need.

According to Egert Belichev, the head of the border guard department of the Police and Border Guard Board, the PBGB was looking for various options to involve Ukrainian border guards at our eastern border, and he was glad that this was done with the support of Frontex. “Our border guards and Frontex officials who help them face a difficult challenge at the eastern border because, every day, they have to distinguish from hundreds of people those who are actually fleeing war and who do not have the right to come to Estonia. Ukrainian border guards can help us with knowledge and information, the checking of which has so far required more effort and, therefore, more time,” Belichev said.

Our Ukrainian colleagues initially work in Estonia for a month, after which the extension will be decided. The costs related to the deployment of Ukrainian border guards are covered by Frontex.

In recent weeks, an average of one hundred Ukrainians have arrived in Estonia through Narva checkpoint and southeastern checkpoints, about half of whom are in transit.