On Monday, the meeting of the State Defense Council (VGT) discussed the situation regarding the increasing flow of migrants crossing the Lithuanian border illegally and the possible threat related to the Belarusian regime in the future.
“As you know, we already have 440 illegal migrants this year, which is six times more than in the previous year,” said Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė.
According to her, it is necessary to further strengthen security at the border.
“It is necessary to implement maximum border protection, border surveillance systems are needed. This is already being done, with a target budget of EUR 11.5 million. euros. <...> The whole project, covering 100%. border to be completed within a year, “she said.
According to the Minister, currently there are places to live for migrants crossing the Lithuanian border illegally in tents. It would be possible to live in them even in the colder part of the year.
However, a plan has been prepared for what would happen if up to 500, 1000 or 10 thousand people entered Lithuania per day. migrants.
If up to 500 illegal migrants arrived in Lithuania per day, all the places of the Aliens Registration Center in Pabradė, as well as the premises of the border guard school would be used, municipal premises and meals would be needed.
“If there were up to a thousand people a day, all the above measures would be added plus an additional camp for a thousand people. And in three days, municipal premises and mating would be needed.
If there were up to 10 thousand. persons per day, <...> would additionally require two campsites in the most vulnerable areas of our municipalities. After two days, municipal premises and catering would be needed, ”A. Bilotaitė presented the script.
According to the Minister, in addition to the tent camp, modular cottages are being considered for rent.
“It simply came to our notice then. Now we count. Those huts would most likely be in the SBGS areas. Because it would help to ensure security, ”said A. Bilotaitė.
Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas emphasized that migration, as well as military response scenarios, are not necessarily real, but preparation is necessary.
“Migration processes in order for thousands of people to reach Lithuania are certainly not realistic, but preparations for ensuring the protection not only of Lithuania but also of the European Union’s external borders must be carried out,” the Minister said.
Photo by Sigismund Gedvila / 15min / Arvydas Anušauskas
A physical fence would cost 15 million. euros
According to the Minister, the construction of a fence at the Belarusian border is being discussed, but no decision has been made yet. A feasibility study is currently being carried out.
Last week after the business trip to Hungary, the Chairman of the Seimas National Security and Defense Committee (NSGC), Conservative Laurynas Kasčiūnas and the representative of the Opposition “Peasants”, the shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Giedrius Surplys, spoke about it.
While visiting Hungary, they inspected the fence surrounding the border with Serbia and, on their return, called for a fence following this example. to build on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.
During the press conference, L. Kasčiūnas noted that the roots of illegal migration must be prevented in the countries from which migrants are received, ie Iraq and Turkey. This is already being done.
He reiterated the physical barrier, ie the fence, in his view, should be built.
“I have stated my position to look a little north of us, after some similar hybrid attacks against Norway, the Norwegians have a clearly established fence on the border with Russia. The Spaniards are building a similar infrastructure, ”he gave examples.
Photo by Lukas Balandis / 15min / Laurynas Kasčiūnas
And noted that such physical objects would not be isolated from the free world, so as to prevent the authoritarian regime’s attempts to divide, to affect the country’s freedoms and rights and political independence.
And a physical barrier could also help combat illegal smuggling.
L. Kasčiūnas named that such a fence could cost 15 million. euros.
True, the Seimas ombudsman Augustin Normantas fence at the Belarusian border possible evaluate the bet negatively. According to him, this would not guarantee the right of migrants to seek asylum in the country.
Threat and extent of smuggling
According to A.Bilotaitė, challenges are caused not only by illegal migration, but also by the scale of smuggling.
“It simply came to our notice then. Smuggling is the source of funding for the Belarussian regime.
In this case, we are working very actively with the Customs Department, because we see the risk that both illegal migration and smuggling can travel through border crossings, which requires a very high level of involvement from the Customs Department as well, ”she said.
According to A.Bilotaitė, it is very important not to create clear preconditions for the emergence of a new migration route, which is now being tried to form.
“We need to be very clear and ensure that our migration procedures are focused on national security interests,” she said.
Therefore, it is currently decided that arriving migrants who cross the border illegally will first go to court for an arrest procedure, then restrict their movement so that migrants cannot continue to flee to other countries.
Photo by Lukas Balandus / 15min / Agnė Bilotaitė
“This is a clear message that it is not convenient to come here and reach other directions,” she said.
She noted that many incoming migrants have a completely different goal – to reach other European countries.
According to the SBGS data, this year almost one and a half hundred illegal migrants from Belarus have already tried to enter Lithuania, ie several times more than last year during the whole year. Most of them are Iraqi citizens.
The Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė has said that the increased flow of illegal migrants is a deliberate policy of the Belarusian regime against the Lithuanian state.
According to her, this indicates the start of a hybrid war.