EU nation mobilizes border guard

Lazy eyes listen


According to officials, Latvia is sending extra border agents to confront what it characterizes as increasing migratory pressure from neighboring Belarus, with the country’s military also moving in to fortify the area.

The Latvian State Border Guard said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision was made due to “the rapidly growing hybrid threat” in the region, and that it had recorded 96 attempts to illegally cross the border with Belarus in the previous 24 hours.

In addition, the agency noticed “increased involvement of Belarusian authorities in organizing the flow of illegal immigrants.”

“For the time being, annual leave is not being granted to State Border Guard officials, and officials who are currently on annual leave are being withdrawn from it,” the statement said. The agency has also requested further support from the military and police, according to the statement.

In response to the request, Latvian Defense Minister Inara Murniece stated that she has authorized the military services to give further support to strengthen the country’s eastern border.

The mobilization comes after the Latvian government declared last week an increased border security regime, citing a “disproportionately large number of cases of illegal crossings” in the area. Since the beginning of the year, Latvian authorities have recorded approximately 6,000 attempts to cross the Belarusian border unlawfully.

The region’s migration problem began in 2021, when Belarus became a key transit point for Middle Eastern refugees attempting to enter the EU. While the unrest mostly afflicted Poland, it also spread to Latvia and Lithuania. However, officials in Minsk have repeatedly denied any involvement in increasing the influx of migrants.

Latvia is following Poland’s lead in implementing additional border security measures, having announced last week that it will deploy 10,000 troops at its border with Belarus. Warsaw also mentioned migratory pressure and alleged infiltration attempts by operatives working for Russian defense contractor Wagner Group. Furthermore, Poland complained earlier this month that two Belarusian helicopters violated its airspace, an allegation Minsk has categorically denied.