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2022.01.14 15:42

Lithuanian PM: the flow of migrants to Belarus has stopped

BNS2022.01.14 15:42

The flow of migrants travelling to Belarus “has stopped”. Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said on Friday.

“The regime is failing to organise” additional transfers, according to the "information available to us", she told reporters.

Although Lithuania’s state of emergency is due to expire at midnight on Friday, the country would keep border controls in place, Šimonytė said.

“For the time being, we will handle the situation in the same way as we did before the introduction of the state of emergency. That algorithm is known as we have been using it in our operations for many months,” she stated.

However, the prime minister admitted that the government might have to reintroduce the state of emergency.

Read more: Migration crisis in Baltics and Poland

“If the situation changes, if we see that it looks to someone that Lithuania has reduced its level of vigilance or is less inclined to protect the EU borders, then we will possibly ask the Seimas to reintroduce the state of emergency,” she added.

There are some 1,500–2000 people in Belarus who may attempt cross the border with Lithuania, Poland or Latvia, according to Šimonytė.

In November last year, the parliament declared a state of emergency along the border stretch and five kilometres inland, as well as in the migrant accommodation facilities in Kybartai, Medininkai, Pabradė, Rukla and Vilnius.

More than 4,200 irregular crossed into Lithuania from Belarus last year.

Lithuania and other Western countries accuse the Minsk regime of orchestrating the unprecedented migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression".

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