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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Estonia. Russia removed border buoys on the Narva River. Tallinn reacts

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The Russians removed the border buoys on the Narva River on its Estonian side. Tallinn believes this was an obvious provocation. At the same time, the services emphasize that they did not respond with force and will seek the return of the buoy through diplomatic channels.

On Thursday, the authorities in Tallinn said that Russian border guards had removed the border buoys on the Narva River on the side of Estonia.

– We did not try to oppose the Russians to avoid escalation. Using force would mean opening fire from a distance. But we will strive to return the buoy through diplomatic means, Egert Belitsev, head of the Police and Border Guard (PPA) of Estonia, said at a press conference.

Narwa. Border of Estonia and RussiaShutterstock

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“The Russian action carried out under the cover of darkness fits perfectly into a broader pattern of provocative behavior on the part of Russia on the borders with its neighbors, including the latter with the borders of Lithuania and Finland,” the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in the evening. “Estonia is approaching this in a calm and balanced manner,” the statement emphasized, drawing attention to the country's joint actions with its allies.

– This is a border incident that requires explanation, said Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas at a conference on Thursday.

Disputes over buoys on the river

As reported by the BNS news agency, 24 buoys located on the Narva River on the Estonian side were removed by the Russian border guard on Thursday morning. The Russian services have not yet provided the reasons for their actions.

Last year, the Russian side opposed the installation of about half of the 250 planned new buoys on the river by the Estonian services. Their task is, among others, facilitating navigation in the border region and avoiding accidental entry into the territory Russia. The Russians removed some of the first 50 buoys placed on the river in mid-May.

PPA confirmed that despite the border incident, it did not intend to abandon the installation of new navigation floats.

The Estonian-Russian border is approximately 338 km long, of which 76 km runs along the Narva River.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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