Small European state of Estonia has no guts to tease Russian bear

Estonia has no guts to escalate anything with Russia

Estonia unilaterally set border markings along the Narva River, but the Federal Security Bureau (FSB of Russia) removed the demarcation buoys. Estonia's "hotheads” have been waiting for clarification for a week.

Estonia initiates conflict with Russia on Narva River, but has no guts to continue it

The border Narva River is demarcated every year — the river channel changes, which causes the median line of the border to change as well. It also serves as a navigable route. The FSB of Russia and Estonian border guards would agree on the installation of border buoys on the river every year.

This time, however, the Estonian authorities decided to demonstrate independence and placed the buoys without Russia's consent.

According to Estonian media, the Russian side did not agree with the placement of 250 buoys. On May 23, the FSB of Russia removed all of them. Not a single new buoy has appeared on the border since then.

Five days after the incident, Moscow continues to refrain from commenting it. There is no dialogue, the Estonian Foreign Ministry admitted.

"To date, we have not received a justification from Russia for the removal of the buoys,” the Estonian Foreign Ministry told Rus. Postimees on Tuesday, May 28.

Estonia fears reinstalling the confiscated buoys

Director General of the Police and Border Guard Department (DPP) Egert Belitšev told ERR that Russia's "theft" of buoys on the Narva River was a "clear provocation." Yet, the Estonian Border Guard did not "physically" stop the Russian FSB from removing them as this would have escalated the situation.

"Using force in such a situation would mean using firepower from a distance,” Belitšev said.

Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Läänemets added that a forceful operation to return the Estonian buoys would not have been successful:

"Imagine if someone went to take buoys into Russian territory using a pistol? What would a warning shot do? At the moment I think that Estonia has achieved a result when the entire Western world is looking towards Russia. This is the right result from the point of view foreign policy".

Läänemets promised to return the buoys immediately after the incident.

'Estonian hotheads' refuse to close the border with Russia

As long as Estonia supports arms supplies to Ukraine and does not mind those arms hitting Russia, why can't Estonia stop the "aggressor" from removing river buoys? Estonia does not even close the border with Russia. One of the Estonian hotheads, President Alar Karis earlier pledged to bring Russia to its knees, but then said that Estonia would not close the border with the Russian Federation because many of its citizens have relatives living there.

"The border is open because people have relatives on the other side. Our readiness is that if necessary, we can close the border very quickly,” the head of state said in an interview with television company Yle of Finland.

Why start a conflict without considering the consequences? Does Estonia want to challenge Russia? If the Estonian government closes the border, Russian-speaking citizens and non-citizens who permanently reside in Narva will stage massive protests in response. Russia can thus rightly take advantage of the situation and support such protests.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
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Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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