PHOTOS Construction work on Section 2 of Estonian-Russian border completed

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The Police and Border Guard Board on Tuesday formally accepted a 39.5-kilometer section of fully completed border infrastructure on the Estonian-Russian border from contractors Merko Ehitus Eesti and GRK Eesti.

Together with the first section of the border, completed last summer, the construction of border facilities has now been completed on 63 kilometers -- almost half of the 135-kilometer land border with Russia.

The construction of the second section of the border started where the first one ended -- at Lake Vaniku -- with Section 2 extending all the way to Piusa River. The new section of the border includes a pontoon-supported patrol track across Lake Vaniku. The second section of the border infrastructure is the longest of the sections into which the land border was divided. It has a very varied landscape, with forests interspersed with marshland and parts of the area flooded in spring.

The director general of the Police and Border Guard Board, Egert Belitsev, described the construction of the border as important for ensuring Estonia's internal security and national security.

«The entire infrastructure has been built on the new section of the border. This means that, in addition to the delay fence, patrol roads and approaches were built, and the necessary preparatory work was done for the installation of surveillance equipment. Although it was a very complex worksite both in terms of terrain the need to work in the area of border regime, the construction was completed almost a year and a half earlier than planned,» he said.

Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets said Estonia must always be ready for surprises when dealing with its eastern neighbor. According to the minister, high-tech border infrastructure will allow for a faster and better response to any border incidents, be it illegal migration or smuggling.

Speaking at the opening of the newly completed section of the border fence, the minister hailed the performance of the Police and Border Guard Board -- the construction of the fence of the land border is on schedule and the new section of the border was completed a year ahead of schedule.

«We have set 2025 as the target date for the completion of the border fence, but the construction activities are not limited to that -- we will also build a modern control center at Luhamaa and install most state-of-the-art surveillance equipment on the border infrastructure,» Laanemets added.

Plans are for the fence of the fourth section of the land border to be completed by the end of 2024, and the entire border infrastructure of the third section by the end of 2025. Simultaneously, the installation of surveillance equipment on the completed land border infrastructure and the construction of additional monitoring positions on the 76-kilometer border on Narva River will continue to cover all of it with electronic surveillance. Estonia's 126-kilometer-long border with Russia on the border lakes is already almost completely covered by surveillance equipment.

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