Border Guard: we are ready to defend Latvian-Belarusian border

This year, a total of more than 6,000 people have been prevented from crossing the Latvian–Belarusian border and nearly 300 have been admitted for humanitarian reasons. It's more than the entire last year. Border Guard told Latvian Television on August 21 that they are ready for possible threats. 

The situation on the border of Latvia–Belarus cannot be called peaceful and is currently being monitored in an enhanced regime, the State Border Guard spokesman Raimonds Kublickis said. Compared to the first half of last year, illegal border crossings have become more aggressive this year.

"In some cases, non-compliance has been observed, resulting in the use of special means or even a firearm in some cases. Fortunately for the time being, only with a warning shot in the air, but in these cases, intensity increases,” said Raimonds Kublickis, deputy head of the Daugavpils Border Guard.

As hybrid war threats increase, the border guard has further mobilized guards in service and has also requested additional assistance from the National Armed Forces (NBS) and the State Police. How many additional people are attached is not revealed.

“At present, in the current situation under constant monitoring, the existing forces and means are sufficient to ensure the security and integrity of the national border,” Kublickis said.

The State Police refused to comment, but the NBS Commander Leonīds Kalniņš said that NBS's support has been provided since last year and has now been increased by exactly as much as the border guards have requested.

The representatives of both the border guards and the NBS agree: the situation can be anticipated because illegal immigrants are led by the Belarusian special services.

“By manipulating this flow, they lead them both to the Polish State border and to the Lithuanian State border and are now more likely to turn toward Latvia. In principle, we are also responding adequately with the State Border Guard. And we're ready to do it, too. It will take some time, perhaps it will remain very quiet on the Latvian border, and the greatest pressure will be on the Polish or Lithuanian border,” said Kalniņš, adding that everything depends on the extent and manner in which Belarus wants to build the pressure.

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