29 Aug 2023 15:04

Estonia considering possible closure of Koidula checkpoint on border with Russia

TALLINN. Aug 29 (Interfax) - Estonia is considering the possible closure of the Koidula (Kunichina Gora) checkpoint on its border with Russia for vehicles.

"Based on an analysis of consequences that will be completed at the end of the year, Estonia will consider closing one checkpoint on the border with Russia in southern Estonia," Estonian Interior Minister Lauri Laanemets told the ERR website.

No decision has been made yet, but it is highly probable that the Koidula checkpoint will be closed for road vehicles, he said.

Laanemets explained the possible closure in terms of a decline in transborder traffic, poor relations with Russia, and the need to save funds.

Compared to pre-pandemic levels, traffic across the eastern border has dropped almost 80%, and has practically halved at two checkpoints in southern Estonia (Koidula and Luhamaa), he said.

It will still be possible to cross the Estonian-Russian border by car at Luhamaa, he said.

There are five operational checkpoints on the Estonian-Russian border, including three for vehicles (Narva, Luhamaa and Koidula) and two for trains. There are also two checkpoints for pedestrians from both Estonia and Russia. One of them, Narva-2, suspended operations in November 2022.