Estonia Accuses Russia of Weaponizing Immigration on Europe’s Eastern Borders

Estonia and Finland face a surge in asylum seekers, blaming Russia for orchestrating the influx.

Estonia and Finland have experienced a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers attempting to enter their territories in recent weeks. Estonian Defense Minister Hanno Pevkur claims that this surge is a result of a “fully state-orchestrated” operation by Russia. Latvia’s Defense Minister, Andris Sprūds, goes even further, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of being the “puppet master” behind this influx. As tensions rise on Europe’s eastern borders, the defense ministers of Nordic and Baltic countries gathered in Stockholm to discuss the situation and other pressing issues.

A Hybrid Attack Operation by Moscow

Estonia accuses Russia of mounting a “hybrid attack operation” on Europe’s eastern border. Pevkur points out that the hundreds of migrants who have arrived at the borders of Estonia and Finland cannot be a coincidence. He questions how these migrants, coming from Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, end up in the high north at the border crossing point with Finland. Pevkur argues that this orchestrated influx is not plausible and should be seen as weaponized illegal immigration.

The Consequences of Closing Borders

While Estonia and Finland are considering closing their borders to curb the influx of asylum seekers, refugee advocates warn that such actions will force refugees to take more dangerous routes to seek sanctuary. Closing borders may lead to an increase in human trafficking and put vulnerable individuals at risk. The humanitarian aspect of the situation should not be overlooked, even as countries grapple with security concerns.

Putin as the Puppet Master

Latvia’s Defense Minister Sprūds directly blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for the arrival of asylum seekers on the Finnish and Estonian borders. He asserts that there is no doubt about who is behind this influx and refers to Putin as the “puppet master.” Sprūds’ statement reflects the growing frustration among Baltic countries regarding Russia’s influence in the region.

Impatience over Sweden’s NATO Membership

The meeting of defense ministers in Stockholm also highlighted Sweden’s impatience over its continued wait to become a NATO member. Turkey recently informed NATO that it would not be ready to ratify Sweden’s membership in time for the alliance’s meeting of foreign ministers. Sweden’s defense minister, Pål Jonson, expresses the urgency to join the alliance, emphasizing the importance of Nordic-Baltic cooperation. Norway’s defense minister, Bjørn Arild Gram, supports Sweden’s NATO membership, stating that it is long overdue.

Defense of Critical Offshore Infrastructure

In addition to the immigration issue, the defense ministers discussed the continued military support for Ukraine and the defense of critical offshore infrastructure. Estonia called for greater power to board vessels in international waters, while Norway emphasized the importance of cooperation with the private sector. The suspected sabotage of the Nord Stream and Balticconnector pipelines has raised concerns about the vulnerability of energy supply to Europe.


Estonia’s accusation of Russia weaponizing immigration on Europe’s eastern borders has sparked concerns among Nordic and Baltic countries. The surge in asylum seekers has led to calls for border closures, but refugee advocates warn of the dangerous consequences such actions may have. The defense ministers’ meeting also shed light on Sweden’s impatience over its NATO membership and the need to defend critical offshore infrastructure. As tensions escalate, it remains to be seen how countries will navigate the complex challenges posed by this situation.






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