Lithuania has arrested more than 1,000 illegal migrants on the border with Belarus since June 1, Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Monday.
Earlier in the month, the Baltic country declared an emergency over an overflow of illegal migrants from Belarus. According to the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service, just in the last 24 hours, the authorities arrested 134 illegals. This far from the largest number per day, which currently stands at 160.
“1044 illegal migrants detained on EU eastern border with Belarus since 1 June. Appreciate #EU support so far. More and urgent actions are needed ahead,” Simonyte tweeted.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis in mid-June accused Minsk of using migrant flows as a tool to get back at Vilnius for antagonizing Minsk. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, for his part, has said that Minsk is unable to stem migration to the European Union due to Western sanctions.
On July 1, the border service announced that six officers of the EU border agency Frontex would start patrolling the border along with the country’s border officers. The number of Frontex officers is expected to increase to thirty from the middle of the month.