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One should not be misled into thinking that the recent drop in the number of illegal migrants trying to enter Lithuania from Belarus means the attack is over as a new illegal migration route via Moscow is emerging, says Darius Domarkas, head of the Public Security Policy Group at the Lithuania Ministry of the Interior.
Interior Ministry representative: illegal migration route via Moscow emerges
© Itar-Tass / Scanpix

"We see a new route emerging, which is the route through Russia, through Moscow. People are coming to Moscow, and as access to Belarus is unrestricted, they are entering Belarus and are then being diverted towards the European Union by the Belarusian regime's people. We certainly should not be fooled, by the low numbers in recent days, the attack is not over yet," Domarkas told the public broadcaster LRT on Monday.

Moreover, he said, the new thing is that the Moscow route is being used to enter the EU not only by irregular migrants from the Middle East, but also by those from Cuba.

"We have evidence that there are flights to Moscow not only from the Middle East, but also from Cuba, for example, and then people are taking trains to Belarus, and from Belarus they are being diverted to the European Union," Domarkas said.

Lithuanian border guards have not recorded attempts by irregular migrants attempting to cross into the country from Belarus illegally for a third consecutive day on Monday, the State Border Guard Service said on Monday morning.

There have been no such attempts since last Friday, it noted.

A total of 1,621 people have been prevented from crossing from Belarus into Lithuania at non-designated places so far this year, compared to 2,617 attempts reported by Latvia and 4,670 by Poland.

Lithuanian border guards sent 8,106 people back to Belarus between last August, when they were given the right to deny entry to irregular migrants, and December. However, the number includes repeated attempts by the same people to cross the border.

BNS
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