R. Liubajevas on the increased flow of illegal migrants: we see that Belarusian border guards are also organising fence breaching

The number of migrants attempting to cross the Lithuanian border illegally has increased over the past few weeks and there have been more cases of Belarusian border guards trying to damage the physical barrier they are constructing, according to State Border Guard Service (VSAT) Commander Rustamas Liubajevas.

We also see that the tactics and the direction of state border violations have changed a little bit – more illegal migrants are now being recorded on our northern flank, in the protection section of the Vilnius border guard division,“ Mr Liubajevas said on Thursday.<br>M.Patašiaus nuotr.
We also see that the tactics and the direction of state border violations have changed a little bit – more illegal migrants are now being recorded on our northern flank, in the protection section of the Vilnius border guard division,“ Mr Liubajevas said on Thursday.<br>M.Patašiaus nuotr.
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Lrytas.lt

Jul 29, 2022, 4:47 PM

Coming from Russia

„There is an increase, especially in the course of two weeks the flows have grown. I wouldn’t say a significant increase, but there are more.

We also see that the tactics and the direction of state border violations have changed a little bit – more illegal migrants are now being recorded on our northern flank, in the protection section of the Vilnius border guard division,“ Mr Liubajevas said on Thursday.

According to him, migrants are now mostly coming from the Russian side.

„We can see that all the illegal migrants who have been detained since April this year are coming from the Russian Federation, from Moscow, from other cities, travelling by other means of transport, buses, trains, trying to illegally cross the border with the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Poland.

First of all, I think it is due to the weather conditions because, as the experience of the EU countries shows, the flows increase in the summer, so I think that this is one of the main factors,“ the head of the VSAT said.

According to the border guard commander, this is also an attempt to test the so-called „Baltic route“.

„In this case, it is usually illegal migrants who are detained and not allowed in. We will see that these flows will remain at this level,“ said Mr Liubajevas.

Damaging the physical barrier too

According to him, the number of cases of attempts to damage the physical barrier has also increased, allegedly by Belarusian border guards themselves.

„We can see that Belarusian border guards are not only involved in organising the smuggling of illegal migrants across the state border, but they are also organising the breaking of the physical barrier.

There are not very many cases of this kind, we can talk about isolated cases for now. They use certain means, either pliers or other means, simply to cut a hole and let a group of irregular migrants through,“ explained the head of the VSAT.

However, according to Mr Liubajevas, this is not yet a mass phenomenon.

„Sometimes people try to climb over the fence, throw a tree or use a ladder to overcome a physical barrier,“ he said.

Last day, border guards at the border with Belarus turned back 39 migrants trying to enter the country illegally, the State Border Guard Service (VSAT) said on Thursday.

More than 800 foreigners registered in Lithuania did not return to their accommodation places in July after restrictions on the movement of irregular migrants in Lithuania were lifted, while in June about 500 cases of absconding were recorded, the Ministry of Interior said.

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