Lithuania reports sounds of shots fired from Belarusian side day earlier

On Thursday morning, three shots in a row from the Belarusian side were heard in Lithuania’s Švenčionys district, and an hour later there was another sound of shot, reports with reference to the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service.

At midnight, seven flares were fired by the Belarusian side not far from Druskininkai Municipality.

According to the border service, only one illegal migrant tried to enter Lithuania from Belarus on October 7. Lithuanian bordeguards have not reported such a low number since June, but they stress that such situation might be just a lull.

On October 6, the Lithuanian side prevented 61 migrants from entering the country, on October 4-5 – the total of 28.

Foreign Policy: Russia, Belarus using migrants as weapon against EU

The total number of migrants who have illegally crossed the Belarusian-Lithuanian border in 2021 has exceeded 4,100, which is 50 times more than in the whole year of 2020. To put that in context, the Lithuanian side detained 46 illegal migrants in the year of 2019, 104 – in 2018, 72 – in 2017. Poland and Latvia have also faced the challenge of irregular migration this year.

As reported earlier, in response to Western sanctions imposed on the regime in 2021, Alyaksandr Lukashenka threatened to loosen control over the flow of migrants and banned substances (even nuclear materials) at the border with the European Union. Unfortunately, he is sticking to his word, and the scale of the hybrid aggression waged by the Belarusian authorities has resulted in the growth of the flow of irregular migration.

Lithuania, along with other EU member countries, accuses the Belarusian border guards of ignoring the trespassers and even assisting them in their illegal moving. The European Union sent employees of the EU Agency for External Border Security (Frontex) to Lithuania in order to strengthen the protection of the the EU-Belarus border from illegal migrants.

Migrants on borders of EU: How Lukashenka taking revenge for Western sanctions

On August 3, Lithuania’s border service started to divert illegal migrants entering the country from Belarus.