Wednesday 10/20/21
BALTICS

Lithuania reports record number of illegal migrants at Belarus border

Estonia will provide the Lithuanian authorities with about 100 kilometers of barbed wire from its own stocks, due to shortages in the neighboring country
A view of Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo: Pixabay.
A view of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Photo: Pixabay.

The EU country Lithuania has registered a record number of migrants who illegally crossed the border from neighbouring Belarus within one day.

In the past 24 hours, 171 unauthorized border crossers were apprehended, the Lithuanian Border Guard announced in Vilnius on Wednesday.

This brought the total number of apprehended migrants this year to over 3,000, compared to 81 in the whole of last year.

Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly threatened the EU with allowing people from war zones to pass through in response to sanctions imposed on his country.

Lithuania, which has an almost 680-kilometre-long border with Belarus, is particularly hard hit. In July alone, according to official figures, there have been more than 2,000 people entering illegally so far.

Due to the influx of migrants, Lithuania had recently tightened its asylum regulations and started building a fence.

Lack of barbed wire

However, because of a lack of barbed wire, the construction of the border barrier has recently stalled. Estonia will therefore provide the Lithuanian authorities with about 100 kilometres of barbed wire from its own stocks.

There is also growing resistance among Lithuanians. At the beginning of the week, residents of several border towns demonstrated against the construction of new accommodation for the migrants.

There were street blockades and scuffles with the police. The Ministry of the Interior has announced an investigation into the incidents.

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