Estonian minister: Army to help build border barriers if migration pressure arises

  • 2021-10-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board and the defense forces have agreed that in the event of migratory pressure on the Estonian border, the defense forces will come to the border service's aid to put up temporary barriers on the border, Interior Minister Kristian Jaani said on Wednesday.

Answering questions from MPs, Jaani said that at present a situation similar to the situation on Lithuania's, Latvia's and Poland's borders with Belarus has not been witnessed on Estonian borders.

According to the minister, the police have specific agreements with the defense forces, according to which, in the event of a crisis at the border, the defense forces will quickly come to their aid to build temporary barriers on the border.

"This kind of cooperation with the defense forces is what we are having on an ongoing basis, and there are very specific agreements also with the commander of the defense forces, and in the respective regions it has been agreed between the local police chief and the local brigade commander, when someone will come to help, how quickly they will come, how they will come and with what means," the national police chief said.

Commander of the Estonian defense forces Lt. Gen. Martin Herem told BNS in early September that should migration pressures extend to Estonia as well, the defense forces are prepared to send their combat engineer units to build border barriers, if necessary.

"If support is requested from the defense forces, we are ready to contribute with all the capabilities we have, be it supporting the Police and Border Guard Board in maintaining border control or even using our reserve capabilities, such as combat engineer battalions, to adjust the border so that it would be easier to control," the defense chief said.