The Estonian government summoned nearly 1,700 reserve soldiers on Wednesday for a previously unannounced exercise which will include installing a razor wire barrier along 40 km of its border with Russia, as the migration crisis in nearby Belarus intensifies.
According to the Estonian government, the snap exercise is scheduled to last until November 25 and was called to test the rapid response of the national chain of command.
“Reserve soldiers will help install 40 km of razor wire in places along the Russian border, where risk of illegal crossings are highest,” Estonian police and Border Guard explained in a statement.
@EstonianGovt decided to summon 1684 reservists for snap military exercise Okas 2021. Combat readiness of reserve forces and chain of command of national defence will be tested. #Okas2021 @MoD_Estonia pic.twitter.com/Gn4TpZ1KPp— Eesti Kaitsevägi/EDF (@Kaitsevagi) November 17, 2021
The EU neighbours of Belarus, a close Russian ally, have warned that the crisis could lead to a military clash. They have declared a state of emergency at their border areas and deployed military forces there.
. @EstonianGovt has decided to hold regular readiness exercise QUILL 2021 in accordance w/ #OSCE (Vienna Document) for 1684 reserve troops to train the functioning of the reserve based defence forces and support @EstonianPolice at eastern border. pic.twitter.com/VKTqBMp1hH— MoD Estonia (@MoD_Estonia) November 17, 2021