Dienas ziņas

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Dienas ziņas

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Situācija uz Latvijas - Baltkrievijas robežas stabila

Latvia-Belarus border situation stable

The situation on the Latvian-Belarusian border is stable, but migrants come in waves, says the State Border Guard. Every day, 15-70 attempts to cross the border illegally are detected, Latgale regional television reported May 21.

The villages of Saliena and Silene are located less than 10 kilometers from the Latvian-Belarusian border. The contact details of the State Border Guard are visible at every step, and border guards are also present. It is a daily routine for locals, who know to report suspicious cars or migrants they meet by chance to the authorities immediately.

"Migrants have asked one resident for water and wi-fi. I don't see any worry, honestly, nobody has complained to me in the meantime," says Svetlana Kursīte, head of the Saliena parish. "We really are safe. The police are always checking everything, the border guards, the national guards."

The State Border Guard stresses that the situation is stable and under control. This year, 1,915 people have been stopped from crossing the Latvian-Belarusian border illegally and ten people have been allowed to cross on humanitarian grounds. As summer approaches, however, the numbers are rising - in April there were around 800 attempts to cross the border illegally, in May there may be 15 people one day, the next even around 70.

"Many people are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mali. For example, to get from India to Germany, they pay about €5,000-7,000, but to get from the Latvian border to Germany, they pay about €1,500. This year, 11 smugglers have already been caught," said Lieutenant Colonel Tomass Skrimblis, Deputy Head of the Daugavpils Administration of the State Border Guard.

Migrants most often try to cross the Latvian-Belarusian border in places where a fence has not yet been built.

"Some arrive, see that there is a fence, and leave, but there are organized groups who come, cut the fence and cross anyway. But the fence gives us extra reaction time," Skrimblis said.

The heads of the border parish administrations interviewed would like to be informed more regularly and in a more timely manner about the latest developments, in cooperation with the services. However, the fact that the border post in Silene has been closed for eight months is of greater concern to the population.

"It's too bad that the border here is closed, now I could go to my relatives in Minsk, my sister is buried there. But how? The post in Silene is closed. Why closed?" asks Elvīra, a resident of Silene village.

A reinforced border security regime in the border regions of Ludza, Krāslava, and Augšdaugava, as well as in the national capital of Daugavpils and the parish of Kaunata in Rēzekne region, has been declared until September 12.

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