Traffic on Estonia-Russia Border Increases Significantly after Closure of Finland's Eastern Border

Thursday, 30 November 2023

Estonia has noted an increase in traffic through its checkpoints on the border with Russia after the closure of the Finland-Russia border.

As reported by ERR, Eve Kalmus, Head of the Border Guard Department of the Police and Border Guard Board, noted that the closure of Finland's border with Russia has had a noticeable effect on the number of border crossings between Russia and Estonia.

"We can already see that the number of crossings of the Estonia-Russia border has increased from 4,000 to 5,000 [persons or vehicles, it was not specified – ed.]," the official said.

Kalmus noted that those who go to Russia are ordinary citizens going about their private affairs and members of various diplomatic missions or their relatives.

She did not specify how many illegal migrants tried to enter Estonia from Russia but confirmed that such cases happened and the border guards managed to turn them away without conflicts at the border where the first control stage takes place.

She specified that both in Estonia and Finland, migrants have not yet tried to cross the border anywhere besides the roads. Unlike the Belarusian border with its Baltic neighbours, where groups are trying to cross the border in the middle of a forest.

"Undoubtedly, such a scenario is possible, and we are ready for it," Kalmus added.

Finland decided to temporarily close the last functioning checkpoint on the Russian border from 29 to 30 November until 13 December.

This happened because, from mid-November onwards, significantly more people without documents allowing them to enter EU territory began to arrive at checkpoints on the Finnish-Russian border. Previously, Russian border guards would not have allowed such travellers to leave.

Estonia announced that it is also ready to close the border with Russia if necessary.

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