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Building out Estonia's eastern border may take at least 8 years

TALLINN – The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board is planning to announce the construction procurements for the country's border with Russia in sections and is hoping, if there are no issues in procurement, to complete the last section of the eastern border in 2026.

The authority on Thursday said that it is announcing a procurement for the contract to build border infrastructure along a 23.5-kilometer section of the Estonian-Russian border in the territory of Voru County -- the first section of the Estonian-Russian border in southeastern Estonia to be built. 

Egert Belitsev, head of the office for integrated border control at the Police and Border Guard Board, said when introducing the current state of the development of the eastern border and further plans to journalists that the authority is planning to build out the land border of the eastern border in sections. The reason for that is the fact that restrictions on movement in the border area and a tough boggy terrain make construction work difficult.

"Once one procurement has been completed and there is a contract partner, we will start a new procurement and the construction of one section will begin at the same time as the construction of a previous section is still ongoing," Belitsev said. "The plan is that we will move forward with the construction all the time and will not wait for the completion of a section."

"If the last section goes into a procurement in 2023-2024, the last section could be completed in 2026," Belitsev said. At the same time, he emphasized that hindrances may emerge in tenders. He brought as an example the uniform tender, which has been delayed due to challenging.

The land border between Estonia and Russia is 135.6 kilometers long.

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