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Ministry: Construction, maintenance of Estonia's eastern border to cost EUR 320 mln

TALLINN – According to the Interior Ministry, building the infrastructure and surveillance system of the border between Estonia and Russia is to cost around 250.3 million euros in 11 years, to which maintenance costs of 70 million euros until 2026 would be added.

At present the available sources for covering the building and maintenance costs of Estonia's eastern border total 96.8 million euros. According to estimations, the necessary sum is 320.3 million euros, therefore 223.5 million euros of additional money should be planned to be added to the special-purpose reserve of the Finance Ministry meant for the area of government of the Interior Ministry, it can be seen from the Interior Ministry's calculations.

The covering sources already used for building the eastern border as well as planned covering sources presently total 71 million euros, therefore the ministry needs additional 179.3 million euros. The forecast need of the border's maintenance costs total 70 million euros for the period until 2026, which is 15.2 million more than previously predicted. From 2027 on the annual maintenance costs are to total 15-16 million euros. The costs planned for the Finance Ministry's special purpose reserve until 2026 total 25.8 million euros, which means that additional 44.2 million euros should be added to the reserve.

According to experts, the eastern border is to cost 188-194 million euros in 2017 prices, which is about the same figure than forecast in February. But the rise of construction prices and the extended construction period could raise the cost by about 62 million euros. It has to be also taken into account that the final price of the project would form as a result of construction procurements.

The Ministry of the Interior is to propose to the government approving the construction and maintenance funding of the eastern border in full and to consider it a strategic investment necessity for Estonia, and to consider it as a priority when forming the government's positions for the bills of the EU's 2021-2028 budgetary period.

In February the Interior Ministry proposed to the government postponing the end date of constructing the border until 2026, which would enable to divide the construction costs more equally throughout the years.

The modern border between Estonia and Russia was supposed to be ready in 2018 or 2019 the latest, but at present only 3.5 kilometers of test sections of the 136-kilometer border are ready. Last year the whole eastern land border was marked.

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