Estonian border guard installs concrete obstacles on Narva bridge


Concrete blocks were installed on the bridge serving as the border crossing point between Estonia and Russia in the northeastern town of Narva.

«We prepared these concrete blocks in case the Estonian government decides to follow the example of neighboring countries and close the border with the Russian Federation in order to prevent a wave of illegal migrants,» Marek Liiva, head of the Narva border checkpoint, said.

Liiva added that since the Ivangorod border crossing point on the Russian side will be closed for repairs from February 1, these concrete blocks will restrict the movement of vehicles on the bridge during the closure period.

Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets said on Thursday that Estonia is maintaining extreme vigilance.

«Today [yesterday - ed.], eight Somali nationals attempted to cross the border and were sent back to Russia. We have received information that there have been similar cases at other border crossing points in Russia. As of now, this situation has not progressed,» Laanemets said.

Head of the Border Guard Veiko Kommusaar, who spoke with the daily on Thursday, said that third country nationals do not get this far just like that and current events can be considered a migration attack in the direction of Estonia.

«Our practice and the assessment of our Finnish colleagues also is that such things do not happen by themselves in Russia,» Kommusaar said.

Laanemets said at a government press conference on Thursday that Estonia is closely monitoring the situation on the eastern border.

«In recent weeks, there have been indicators that the Finnish border is now being pressured. People who do not have a visa or any other legal basis to enter Europe are being sent there. Russia should not let them through, but it does, and in Finland they are applying for international protection at the border, which must be processed,» the minister said.

«We will not allow the illusion that this can be tested on our border to arise. I doubt the Somali nationals thought of this themselves. The message we are sending and for which we are acting: one cannot enter the European Union through Estonia in this way,» he added.