Estonia to build new barriers on Russian border

Estonia will construct new temporary fences along part of its border with Russia, the government in Tallinn said Wednesday morning.

Almost 1,700 reservists will be deployed in a snap military exercise to erect new barriers at the frontier as the migration crisis continues at the Polish-Belarusian border. While Estonia has no border with Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused by Poland of orchestrating the buildup of migrants attempting to enter the EU — an allegation denied by the Kremlin.

“What is happening in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia also requires the strengthening of the border infrastructure in Estonia,” said Elmar Vaher, chief of Estonia’s Police and Border Guard Board, according to Reuters.

The barriers will be erected “in the border areas that have previously been used by organized crime to facilitate illegal migration,” the Estonian government said.

Estonia’s defense minister last week warned the border crisis could turn into a military clash. As a result, some neighboring countries have declared a state of emergency and deployed military forces near their frontiers.

The snap exercise in Estonia is planned to take place from Wednesday until November 25, and is designed to test the rapid response of the national defense chain of command, the government added. It has previously built other sections of fencing at the Russian border.

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