Border area could face state of emergency with more migrants detained

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On Monday, 9 August, 140 border offenders were detained on the Latvian-Belarusian border. The Minister for the Interior proposes to announce an emergency in the border area of Latvia-Belarus.

The Ministry of Interior said that the following numbers of illegal border offenders had been detained from August 7 to 9 :

  • on Saturday, 39 border offenders,
  • Sunday, 35 border offenders,
  • on Monday, 140 border offenders.

Another group of potential illegal immigrants were not allowed to enter the country.

Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For!) proposed to announce a state of emergency in the border area of Latvia-Belarus in order to protect the external border of Latvia and the European Union. If the government declares an emergency, it would be imposed in parts of the municipalities of Augšdaugava and Krāslava.

The announcement of an emergency would extend the powers of the State Border Guard to deter illegal migration and return offenders to country of origin.

Golubeva told Latvian Radio: "This is due to the increased number of illegal immigrants in the last two days. There is also reason to believe that these people are mostly those who have flown to Belarus in the hope of arriving in Lithuania. Practically along the route organized by Belarus. But as Lithuania attracted more forces on its border and tries to keep no one, they are now going to either Poland or Latvia. This particular increase could also be linked to this."

In response to the current situation on the border of Latvia-Belarus, on Wednesday, August 11, Marija Golubeva, Head of State Border Guard Guntis Pujāts and deputies from the Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Committee will visit the border. Meetings are scheduled with municipal representatives to coordinate action in response to the challenges of illegal migration.

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