Estonia’s top diplomat says border with Russia may be closed
Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna has allowed the possibility of closing the border with Russia, News.Az reports citing TASS.
"We are ready to close [the border with Russia], if need be. We’ll discuss it if this is needed to support Finland. It may happen," Tsahkna said upon arriving at the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. "This situation is not your run-of-the-mill migration issue," he added.
Earlier, Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets said that Tallinn would not follow Helsinki’s suit in closing the border with Russia at this time.
The Yle news website quoted Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo as saying on November 27 that the last border crossing with Russia would be shuttered. All crossings on Finland’s border with Russia will be closed from November 30 till December 13. However, Matti Sarasmaa from the Border and Coast Guard Division of the Finnish Border specified that the railway link between the two countries would continue to function, while Reuters said, citing Finnish government officials, that the restrictions on the border with Russia would not affect trucks.
On the night of November 17, the Finnish side closed the first four border checkpoints on its eastern border until February 18, 2024, with the authorities justifying the move by the recent influx of "third-country nationals" to the eastern border of Finland. On November 22, the Finnish government decided to close three of its four remaining border crossings until December 23, keeping only the Raja-Jooseppi checkpoint open.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow had received a note from Helsinki on its decision to shut down the last functioning border checkpoint on November 30.