Lithuania to receive reinforcements from Frontex to guard border with Belarus

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has discussed the illegal migration on the border with Belarus with Fabrice Leggeri, head of the EU Agency for External Borders Security (Frontex), the press service of the Lithuanian leader reports.

Nauseda acknowledged that Lithuania needs assistance both in people and equipment. For his part, the head of Frontex noted that he would activate the mechanism of emergency border assistance. Reinforcements are to be sent to Lithuania soon: interpreters, specialists in dealing with migrants, armed patrols, and two helicopters (Poland, the other from Germany).

Sample image. Photo: Agencja Wschod / Forum

In turn, Frontex stressed that it would more than double its presence on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. In addition to the above-mentioned assistance, the agency will provide Lithuania with experts to help collect data on migrants crossing the border illegally.

On July 1, the EU border control agency Frontex sent 10 officers and several patrol cars to the border of Belarus with Lithuania and Latvia.

On July 11, Lithuanian border guards reported that 57 illegal migrants had been detained on the border with Belarus during the last day.

Recently, the Lithuanian military joined the forces guarding the border with Belarus.

  • Lithuania has recorded an explosive growth in illegal migration from Belarus in 2021. Since the beginning of the year, 1,643 people have tried to enter Lithuania illegally. In 2017, Lithuanians caught 72 illegal migrants at the border, in 2018 – 104, in 2019 – 46, in 2020 – 81.
  • The Lithuanian authorities accuse Lukashenka’s regime of facilitating illegal migration to the European Union and deliberately sending migrants to the border. The Lithuanian leadership calls the actions of official Minsk a hybrid war. At the highest level, the Lukashenka regime de facto admits that it views the migration issue as a mechanism to blackmail the EU and retaliate for sanctions.