State of emergency declared as a result of growing migration from Belarus


2021 07 02


On Friday, the Government has declared a state of emergency as a result of illegal migration.

Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė has been appointed Commander of National Emergency Operations.

This will facilitate legislative process to speed up relevant procedures, coordinate actions, and mobilise capacity, and it will also unlock the Government Reserve Fund. This decision, among other things, will facilitate cooperation with municipalities and other relevant authorities.

Today, according to the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania, another 150 illegal migrants have crossed the Lithuanian border from Belarus. Many of them have already applied for asylum in Lithuania. The SBGS notes that the flow of illegal migration has already increased eleven times against 2020, and 822 illegal migrants have been detained to date. 81 such foreigner was detained on the Lithuanian border last year. In 2019, 46 illegal migrants were caught by border guards, to compare with 104 in 2018 and 72 in 2017. Iraqi or allegedly Iraqi citizens represent the largest number of detainees caught on the border with Belarus this year - 481. Other detainees included 57 citizens of Iran, 51 of Syria, 46 of Belarus, 28 of Russia, 13 of Guinea, 12 of Turkey, 10 of Sri Lanka and other countries. This citizenship statistics is not final; it may as well change following the thorough analysis of the situation of the day. Migration flows are believed to take upward trend.

Border guards have been closely monitoring the situation from helicopter so as to pinpoint large groups of migrants on the Belarusian side.

With the recent sharp rise in the number of such cases, the SBGS has tightened security of the border with Belarus. Apart from a number of organisational measures, officers from other SBGS units have been mobilised to this section, and extra technical resources have been sent there. Also, Public Security Service and Riflemen's Union and other organisations have come to the aid of the border guards. The European Border and Coast Guard teams (FRONTEX) are also about to start working together on the border with Belarus.