Russian guards not in a Christmas mood on Estonian border

HELSINKI (AP) — Travelers beware: Russian border guards are not in a Christmas mood.

They demanded that a cameraman from a pro-Kremlin broadcaster explain in writing why he was filming a meeting of Jouluvana, the Estonian version of Santa Claus, and Russia’s alter ego, Father Frost, on the Estonian-Russian border.

The Baltic News Service says Igor Abramson of Russian state-owned broadcaster Channel One Russia apparently “seemed suspicious.”

BNS said Abramson was “filming the entire surroundings, including Russian border officials” on Monday on the bridge linking Estonia’s third-largest city of Narva to the Russian town of Ivangorod. Since 1997, the jovial characters have met there and handed out presents to nurseries and hospitals.

Relations between Tallinn and Moscow are notoriously icy. Estonia, a former Soviet republic, still has no valid border treaty with Russia.

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