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Minister of Internal Affairs Hanno Pevkur replied to the interpellation concerning state borders (No 428) submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Priit Toobal, Marika Tuus-Laul, Valeri Korb, Lauri Laasi, Enn Eesmaa, Eldar Efendijev, Kalev Kallo, Urbo Vaarmann, Siret Kotka, Mihhail Korb and Viktor Vassiljev.

The interpellators referred to the opinion of the current border guard leaders that the merging of the police and border guard organisations had taken the structure out of balance and the border guarding is no longer functioning as it should. The interpellators asked whether the Minister thought it necessary to increase manned border guarding on the Eastern border of the European Union and NATO. 

Pevkur referred to the decision made to form a rapid response unit within the border guard to respond to border incidents according to risk assessments, and to solve the situations when necessary. “The main base will be at the South Eastern border, i.e. the Piusa corridor, which will be completely rebuilt the next year. Another base will be in Narva,” Pevkur explained. He added that Tallinn would also like house a part of this special unit, particularly for its waterways capability and certain compensation measures. 

“In addition to the issue of manning, we will give as much, if not more attention to increasing alarm guarding capability. The full development of the border and the increased importance of alarm guarding will actually ensure that this rapid response unit is capable of reacting immediately upon receiving detailed information about the situation at the border,” Pevkur said. 

“We decided to increase the staff dealing with border issues in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. We redistributed tasks and formed a new Border Policy Department on 18 October. The Department will be responsible for the building of the border as well as the everyday coordination of work at the border. 

Minister Pevkur also replied to the interpellation concerning the reform of the Police and Border Guard Board (No 433). 

During the open microphone, Heimar Lenk, Karel Rüütli, Valeri Korb and Lembit Kaljuvee took the floor. 

The Riigikogu Press Service