Members of the Riigikogu Urmas Reinsalu, Priit Sibul, Tarmo Kruusimäe, Heiki Hepner, Sven Sester, Aivar Kokk, Andres Metsoja and Raivo Tamm had submitted the interpellation concerning the establishment of border barriers (No. 86) to Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.
In the interpellators’ words, the current plan provides for the construction of the Estonian border to be completed by 2026 but, as the situation has changed, in their opinion, a physical barrier should be constructed on the external borders of the European Union significantly faster. The members of the Riigikogu asked if the Prime Minister had discussed cooperation in the establishment of the barriers on the eastern border with the Prime Ministers of other Baltic states, and what her Baltic colleagues thought of that. The members of the Riigikogu also asked about the potential cost of establishment of a physical barrier on the eastern border as a matter of urgency, and the potential time limit for the establishment of a barrier as a matter of urgency.
In her reply, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said that the Government had considered the possibility that, in light of the hybrid attack by Belarus, pressure would also increase on the border of Estonia. She confirmed that the Baltic states as well as Poland were cooperating closely and the Prime Ministers had discussed the construction of barriers on the eastern border. The Prime Minister noted that Estonia was assisting Lithuania in the protection of the border there with experts and technology in order to prevent migration pressure. Kallas also said that, with a view to preventing illegal migration, the Police and Border Guard Board had increased control at borders and ports, and the implementing part of the emergency response plan on mass immigration had been specified.
When speaking of the possibility of the construction of the eastern border as a matter of urgency, Kallas said that the Police and Border Guard Board had been tasked with ascertaining the conditions under which the eastern border could be constructed faster without compromises in quality. Kallas pointed out that the Police and Border Guard Board was assessing the options, and a relevant survey would be submitted to the Government this autumn.
The Prime Minister pointed out that 10.5 million euro had been planned for the construction of the border in 2021, and 14.4 million in 2022.
During the debate, Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), Jaak Valge (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Heiki Hepner (Isamaa), Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa), Mart Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Peeter Ernits (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Martin Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Leo Kunnas (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.
The Prime Minister also replied to the interpellation of members of the Riigikogu concerning the transition to Estonian-language education (No. 84). The Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna replied to the interpellation concerning higher education funding (No. 83) and the Minister of Justice Maris Lauri replied to the interpellation concerning the processing of corruption cases in the justice and court system (No. 81).
During the open microphone, Peeter Ernits (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Lauri Läänemets (Social Democratic Party) took the floor.
The sitting ended at 10.50 p.m.
Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)
The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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