2021.06.11 15:32

Lithuanian ministry asks for €11.5m for protection of Belarusian border

BNS2021.06.11 15:32

Lithuania's Interior Ministry is asking for an additional 11.5 million euros for the protection of the country's border with Belarus amid the ongoing adjustments to the state budget.

The ministry is also asking for 2.8 million euros to cover extra wages of the State Border Guards Service (VSAT) as well as 50,000 euros in additional costs for translation services, the Interior Ministry said.

"The unstable and hardly predictable political situation" in Belarus "obliges Lithuania to protect its own border, and also the border of the whole of the European Union", Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė said.

Lithuania is stepping up protection of its border with Belarus and is mobilising and involving other state institutions and services. Belarus does not cooperate with Lithuania on the management of flows of undocumented migrants, the ministry said.

Read more: Lithuania mulls plans to build refugee camp

Earlier today, VSAT reported that 32 people have been detained after crossing the border from Belarus, pushing the total number of undocumented migrants detained so far this year to 329.

Following the international uproar to the forced grounding of a Vlnius-bound Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko said his country would no longer stop “drugs and migrants”. Lithuania’s officials have then alleged that Belarusian officers are complicit in facilitating the crossings.

The number of undocumented migrants entering Lithuania has been increasing following a slump last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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