Estonian Interior Ministry to limit land purchase rights near state defense facilities for Russian citizens

Estonia wants to limit the land right of citizens of the Russian Federation to buy land near state defense facilities

The Ministry of the Interior of Estonia plans to amend the legislation so that citizens of third countries cannot buy real estate in strategically important points for Estonia.

The Ministry collected a number of examples of how countries unfriendly to Estonia buy significant real estate abroad. The memorandum drawn up by the Ministry mentions the mayor of the city of Murmansk, who owns a mountain house overlooking an important Norwegian military base.

According to the Minister of the Interior Lauri Läenemets, Estonia must also deal with similar threats. “In Estonia, for example, there are apartments that are located next to very important objects and can be used for surveillance. There may also be some larger and more important real estate,” said Läenemets.

The Ministry of the Interior has few words to comment on this topic. However, the Ministry’s memorandum mentions the residential complex Kalevi Panorama, built by Russian businessmen. Within a radius of several hundred meters from the 14-story residential buildings are located both the military town and the Defense Forces headquarters.

For several years, Estonian Department of Police and Border Guard has been concerned about an apartment belonging to a Russian citizen, which is located next to one of the Estonian border posts. “It makes it possible to observe our activities in this place,” Läenemets said.

He noted that China uses similar tactics. “The Chinese have bought thousands of properties around Japanese military facilities. Over time, this pattern becomes obvious, you begin to understand it, but then it is difficult or impossible to do anything. You need to act now,” he said.

However, as noted, the development of the draft law is complicated by the fact that the state does not want to publish the list of strategic objects.

The Ministry of the Interior hopes to present its intention to draft a law with proposals for specific changes no later than the end of the year.

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