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Estonia to strengthen control over cargo on border with Russia

Estonia plans to implement full customs inspections on its border with Russia to prevent sanctions evasion, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas announced.
estonian border with russia
Estonia borders Russia in the east. Map: Google Maps
Estonia to strengthen control over cargo on border with Russia

The Estonian government has decided to enhance the effectiveness of control over the movement of sanctioned goods at its border with Russia, the Estonian government’s press service reported.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said, “We must be sure that goods crossing our borders are not subject to EU sanctions.”

She emphasized that despite existing restrictions, attempts to circumvent sanctions at the border exist, and the new EU sanctions package has further increased these risks.

“Replacing the current risk-based selective checks with a full inspection of cargo and vehicles will give the authorities greater confidence that goods that could support the Russian Federation’s military machine will not cross the Estonian border,” Kallas said.

Estonian customs officers in Narva detect daily cases of travelers attempting to smuggle prohibited goods and cash euros to Russia. The situation has led to significant queues at border crossings, with waiting times sometimes reaching up to five days.

Kallas added that Estonia will continue discussions with Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland regarding unified requirements and procedures at the border.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is set to become the European Union’s next foreign policy chief. Kallas will replace Josep Borrell, who has held the position since 2019. This appointment comes as part of a broader reshuffling of top EU positions.

The report notes that Kallas had previously shown interest in becoming NATO Secretary General. However, she ultimately supported Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for the role.

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