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Estonia To Build Fence Along Russian Border

Estonia says it plans to build a fence along part of its eastern border with Russia to safeguard its security and protect the EU's passport-free Schengen Area.

Interior Ministry spokesman Toomas Viks told the French AFP news agency on August 27 that construction would begin in 2018 and be completed by 2019.

He said the information gathered by around-the-clock surveillance could "be used as evidence in cases of cross-border crime, be it illegal border crossing, smuggling, [or] human trafficking."

According to Estonia's border guards, the 2.5-meter-high barbed-wire fence will span nearly 110 kilometers.

The announcement comes amid regional tensions over the conflict in Ukraine.

The Baltic states, including Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, have been rattled by Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine, where Moscow-backed separatists have been fighting government forces since April 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP