Es­to­nia in­creases sur­veil­lance along bor­der shared with Rus­sia

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JAN M. OLSEN

Es­to­nia is plan­ning to cover a 136- kilo­me­ter ( 84- mile) stretch of land along its bor­der with Rus­sia with state-of-art tech­nol­ogy to com­bat illegal bor­der-cross­ing and il­licit traf­fic, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

The Bor­der

Po­lice

said

the sur­veil­lance, in­clud­ing sen­sors, cam­eras and radars, would beef up se­cu­rity at the bor­der of the Euro­pean Union mem­ber.

Part of the stretch would in­clude fences, pos­si­bly with barbed wire, In­te­rior Min­istry spokesman Tex Vert­mann said.

Some 80 kilo­me­ters of land had al­ready been cleared, and buoys will be in­stalled to mark the bor­der on rivers and lakes.

“It is a step-by-step process. Now we have cleared most of the land and we will even­tu­ally de­cide what will be put up,” Vert­mann told The As­so­ci­ated Press. At least 10 me­ters of bor­der area will be cleared from for­est and brush to make vis­i­ble the bor­der strip, he added.

“This is the EU’s ex­ter­nal bor­der and we must pro­tect our bor­der,” said Vert­mann.

Es­to­nia’s bor­der with Rus­sia runs 290 kilo­me­ters (180 miles) of which 136 kilo­me­ters is on land. Lake Pei­pus sits on the bor­der and is the big­gest trans­bound­ary lake in Europe.

Es­to­nia, a for­mer Soviet re­pub­lic, has been un­set­tled by ten­sions in Ukraine and Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Crimea. This month, an Estonian se­cu­rity ser­vice of­fi­cer was sen­tenced in Rus­sia for spy­ing in a case that Es­to­nia dis­missed as re­venge for his in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a Rus­sian smug­gling ring on the bor­der.

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