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2021.06.18 11:19

EU’s border guards to help patrol Belarusian border in Lithuania

BNS2021.06.18 11:19

First Frontex border guards should arrive in Lithuania in July, chief of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service (VSAT) said on Thursday.

Around ten officers will arrive in early July, followed by around 30 officers later the same month, according to Rustamas Liubajevas, chief of VSAT.

“There will be a combined team. The difference will be very formal: officers from the permanent corps will wear Frontex uniforms and other border guards – the uniforms of border guards of their country,” he said, adding that officers will arrive from Finland, Latvia and Estonia.

They will join Lithuanian officers on patrol along the border with Belarus, where there has been an increase of irregular migration.

Over 400 undocumented migrants, mostly from Iraq, have been detained after crossing from Belarus. In comparison, 81 people were detained in 2020, 46 in 2019, and 104 in 2018.

Several vehicles and as well as mobile border surveillance equipment should be delivered to Lithuania, Liubajevas said, adding that more border guards will be sent to Lithuania if necessary.

According to the chief of the border guards, the migration numbers “are not too impressive” compared to some other countries in the European Union. However, Lithuania has “an unpredictable [neighbouring] country [Belarus] that openly declares it is aiding illegal migrants”.

Lithuania shares a 678.8-kilometre border with Belarus.

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