Latvia extends state of emergency on Belarus border until May

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At a meeting on Tuesday, February 1, the Latvian government supported the extension of the state of emergency on the border with Belarus, as the migration situation on the border remains tense, LETA reported.

The state of emergency has been extended until May 10 in the municipalities of Ludza, Kraslava, Augšdaugava, and Daugavpils.

Previously, the emergency had been extended until February 10. It was necessary to amend the emergency order in order to re-extend it and allow the Border Guard to continue implementing necessary safety measures.

Between August 10, 2021, and January,10 2022, 4,962 people have been prevented from illegally crossing the State border. The Ministry of Interior stated that the number of illegal crossings of the Latvian-Belarusian border has increased rapidly since mid-December.

Between December 13 and January 20, 2,043 people were prevented from crossing the border illegally.

For comparison, 666 people were detained between November 13 and December 12.

The rapid increase is attributable to a change of tactics, namely, since December 13, third-country nationals are attempting to cross the border illegally in small groups from 3 to 12 times daily and at different places along the border. 

“This tactic poses a continued threat to the State border of the Republic of Latvia and the need for substantial resource involvement from the State Border Guard, the National Armed Forces (NBS), and the State Police,” the Ministry said.


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