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A sudden drop in migrant flow is a little worrying, Rustamas Liubajevas, the commander of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service (SBGS), has said commenting on the latest data that border guards have in the past 24 hours turned away just one migrant attempting to cross into the country from Belarus illegally.
SBGS chief: sudden drop in migrant flow to Lithuania a little worrying
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

“I would be very much willing to believe that it is a natural process, that the situation at the border is truly stable… However, such a situation where those flows drop to just one person in one day cannot but worry any professional,” he told BNS on Friday.

Liubajevas guessed that the Belarusian regime might probably be trying to create a wrong impression that flows were decreasing in an attempt to put border guards off their guard.

“We do not have any special data available but it’s not yet time to relax, we must continue monitoring the situation. We must be ready for any kind of events,” he said.

The SBGS reported on Friday morning that border guards had in the past 24 hours turned away one migrant attempting to cross into the country from Belarus illegally.

The number of pushbacks was the smallest since late June. In addition, it was in stark contrast to recent weeks during which pushback numbers ranged from several dozens to 100 per day.

“We must continue monitoring the situation. I’d not make any conclusions at this stage..,” the SBGS commander said.

Migrant flows tended to decrease during the cold season, he said warning, however, that it was difficult to make any forecasts, given that Lithuania had become a target of a hybrid attack.

“This attack is managed, orchestrated, therefore the impact of weather can be minimal,” Liubajevas explained.

Lithuania, Latvia and Poland have faced a drastic increase in illegal migration from Belarus since summer. Nearly 4,200 migrants, mostly Iraqi citizens, have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year.

Both Lithuania and the European Union accuse the Belarusian regime of orchestrating the migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression" in retaliation for EU sanctions against Minsk imposed after the regime’s crackdown on opposition.

BNS
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