Estonia feels provoked by Russia after theft of buoys

Estonia feels provoked by Russia after theft of buoys

Russia is at loggerheads with its neighbour Estonia. The Russian border guards have now taken action on the Narva River. The government in Tallinn is calling it a provocation.

Estonia accuses the Russian border guard of having removed several buoys floating in the Narva river that mark shipping routes. According to the police and border guard authority of the EU and NATO country, Russian officials removed 24 of 50 buoys from the water on Thursday night. They were placed ten days ago to mark the fairway and prevent navigation errors and accidental border crossings by fishermen, for example. The authority in Tallinn called on Russia to provide an explanation and to return the buoys. The Narva forms the border line between Estonia and Russia. The river also marks the eastern external border of the EU and NATO.

According to information from Estonia, the placement of the buoys and their locations had been agreed bilaterally years ago. However, since the start of the war of aggression against Ukraine, the Russian side has not agreed with the locations of about half of the 250 markers that are always placed during the shipping season – including some of the buoys that have now been removed.

Russia provokes its neighbour Estonia on the Narva River

Estonia’s border guard chief Egert Belitsev spoke of a “further act of provocation by Russia”. “We are convinced that the buoys were where they should be,” he said, according to a report by Estonian radio. However, the border guard did not actively prevent the buoys from being removed in order to prevent the situation from escalating. “We use diplomatic means to deal with such situations,” he said.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas spoke of a border incident whose exact circumstances must be clarified. “We will approach this case soberly and in a balanced manner and communicate with allies if necessary. We see a broader pattern in which Russia is trying to sow fear with its actions,” she said.

Source: Stern

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