Estonia Builds Barbed Wire Fence on Russian Border – Reports

Estonia has installed a barbed-wire fence along an 8-kilometer section of its border with Russia in the first installment of its three-year border infrastructure project, media in the Baltic country reported Monday.

Estonia began construction of border infrastructure stretching 23.5 kilometers from the Estonian-Latvian-Russian meeting point to the Luhamaa border crossing further north in July. In addition to a barbed-wire fence, the EU and NATO member plans to build patrol roads and surveillance equipment along the border.

“There are elements that need to be added, but the fence itself is already standing,” Egert Belitšev, a senior Estonian police and border guard official, told the ERR broadcaster.

“Of course, the builders encountered small surprises, but nothing insurmountable. The construction firm has done a good job and is moving at a fast pace,” Belitšev was quoted as saying.

Estonia’s interior minister Alar Laneman hailed the “practical and … very big symbolic and political significance” of the border section between countries whose ties have soured since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“Practically speaking, this is the European Union and NATO’s external border and we all understand that a well-equipped border furnished with the needed technical means and secured is very important for Estonia and the EU to live safely,” Laneman was quoted as saying.

Estonia is the only NATO member that lacks a ratified border treaty with Russia despite the terms of an agreement signed in 2005 and a deal signed by foreign ministers in 2014. Lawmakers have refused to ratify the border agreement over a dispute surrounding a 1920 Russian-Estonian border treaty undergirding Tallinn’s territorial claims, which Moscow rejects.

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British soldier found dead in Estonia, Ministry of Defence confirms

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Fus Sam Brownridge had been serving in Estonia

A British soldier has been found dead in Estonia.

Fusilier Sam Brownridge, from the First Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, died on Sunday. He was off duty at the time.

The Ministry of Defence said it brought “great sadness” to announce his death.

Fus Brownridge was among about 1,000 British troops deployed in Estonia as part of Nato’s increased military presence near the border with Russia.

The First Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is based in Tidworth in Wiltshire.

In a statement, the MoD said: “It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of a soldier from The First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

“Fusilier Sam Brownridge died of a non-battle injury while deployed on Operation Cabrit in Estonia on Sunday.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

“A full investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Theresa Bubbear, the British ambassador to Estonia, shared a tweet expressing her “deepest condolences” to Fus Brownridge’s family, friends and colleagues.

The UK is playing a leading role in the alliance’s Baltic mission. Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK deployment.

Last December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the Tapa military base near Estonia’s capital Tallinn, to serve Christmas lunch to the British soldiers based there.

He told the troops: “What you’re doing is incredibly important because the reason everybody in our country can have Christmas in peace and security is because of what you’re doing here.”

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