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Estonia’s temporary ban on aerial activity on its eastern border to end


Estonia’s temporary ban on aerial activity on its eastern border to end

Oksana Manchuk TASS via Getty Images
Photo: Oksana Manchuk/TASS via Getty Images

Estonia’s one-week ban on aerial activity close to its eastern border ends today.

The restrictions aimed to facilitate Police and Border Guard Board and Estonian Defense Force activities amidst the ongoing migrant crisis on the Belarus-EU borders.

The EU alleges Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko created the crisis in response to the four rounds of EU sanctions placed on his regime since October 2020.

Lukashenko led migrants mainly from the Middle East and Asia to the Polish border, criticizing Poland’s lack of refugee acceptance. But Lukashenko’s plan has backfired as the EU recently imposed a fifth round of sanctions on Belarus and migrants may choose to settle in Belarus instead of the EU. Belarus’s authoritarian leader is now scrambling to save his reputation as a leader of stability.

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In the short-term, Estonia is trying to strengthen its infrastructure at its border with Latvia for fear of the crisis extending north. Estonia and its Baltic neighbors recently expressed worry that the crisis could turn into a military conflict given that tensions have been mounting for months. Although the crisis is showing signs of easing, expect migrants to be stranded for months longer and Belarus-EU relations to be strained in the long-term.

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