Russia mocks Estonian plans to fence border

  • 2015-08-26
  • Ingas Silver, MOSCOW

Moscow said it sees the Estonian project of building a wall on the country's border with Russia as “senseless”, citing a lack of military threat to the small Baltic nation from its huge eastern neighbor.

Earlier this week, Estonian Police and Border Guard Service said it would install a fence between the two countries to protect against border violations “by illegal migrants and wild animals”.

Estonian newspaper Postimees reported the barbed-wire, two-meter-tall, and 108-kilometer-long fence will be equipped with the video cameras and patrolled with drones. 

It will be span two-thirds of the Estonian-Russian border, and its construction is scheduled to start in 2018. The project’s cost is estimated at 71 million euros.

“There is neither military confrontation, nor any criminalized situation connected to uncontrolled counterfeit goods smuggling, drug trafficking or anything else,” said Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Parliament’s International Committee on August 26. “Nor there is a migration threat many European countries face.”

According to Kosachev, the truel aim of the wall initiative is to present Russia as a threat to the rest of Europe, which must be fenced off.

He advised Tallinn to use the money spent on the wall to solve Estonia’s economic problems rather than erecting “an ideological monument with no practical purpose.”

Kosachev added Russia is not going to retaliate, describing the entire project as “nonsense”, and a throwback to the Berlin Wall.  

His opinion was echoed by the chairwoman of the Duma’s Anti-Corruption Committee, Irina Yarovaya, who called Estonia’s plans to build the border fence “a creation of the reservation for their own citizens”.

She mocked Tallinn’s decision, by suggesting the Estonian government’s should double the cost to 142 million euros, to ensure the wall is five meters high - a move that would ensure nobody jumps over it.