The events of recent weeks on the Polish-Belarusian border have forced the Latvian Border Guard and the Armed Forces to face greater pressure from migrants on Latvia’s eastern border, where the situation has stabilized in recent months, the November 21 broadcast said. De facto.
“In recent weeks, we have not identified any larger, more massive groups on the borders of Latvia. But this does not rule out the possibility that the Belarussian regime may try to play something similar on the borders of Lithuania and ours. We see a high risk, “said Ivars Ruskulis, Deputy Chief of the Latvian Border Guard.
There are currently up to 10,000 migrants in Belarus
Two weeks ago, thousands of migrants, accompanied by Belarusian border guards, set off for Poland at the Kuzhnitsa border checkpoint. Unable to cross the border, the more aggressive threw stones. The Poles responded with noise grenades, tear gas and water jets.
Migrants who have reached the Polish border, as well as those wishing to cross the Latvian-Lithuanian border, have received false promises to enter the European Union. Having paid several thousand euros each for the road, they are now forced into weeks of cold and starvation in the forests of Belarus.
There is no shortage of women and children among men during the years of strength.
The Border Guard pointed out that the situation on the Latvian border is much calmer for the time being. Border guards do not allow an average of 20 violators to enter Latvia per day. Four to seven people a week are detained and transported to the accommodation center for humanitarian reasons. Migrants do not stay on the border itself, as was the case in August.
Although Belarus began repatriating migrants in the second half of last week, there are reports that many thousands are still in the neighborhood. “It is clear that they do not disclose how many they have brought from high-risk countries of origin. As a result, estimates are quite different, ranging from a few thousand, but the few thousand, as we can see, are already concentrated on the Polish border, up to 10 000, which could [Baltkrievijā] to be,” De facto said Ruskulis.
Military exercises at the border
Taking into account the tensions at the Polish border, the Latvian Ministry of Defense started military exercises in Latgale a week ago. This is a way to increase the presence of the armed forces closer to the border.
“We do not want to set a precedent that one day a large number of armed forces appear at the border, so this is the right way. We also announced through the OSCE network that such training is taking place, and in this way we also informed that there will be units of the armed forces in the region, “explained Janis Garisons, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defense.
The exact number of soldiers involved in the training in Latgale is not revealed, but initially about three thousand were reported. Foreign soldiers deployed in Latvia will not take part in the training, according to the program.
What does Lukashenko hope for?
The goal of Belarus’s authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko, deepening his own migration crisis, could be to lift previous EU sanctions and start talks with Western leaders on his terms. But Lukashenko, on the contrary, has urged the EU to announce a new round of sanctions against his regime, says De facto.
However, both Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin had individual telephone conversations with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Her decision to talk to Lukashenko is very ambiguous.
“It’s hard to say to what extent there is a plan and planner behind all that we see. Some policy analysts and the Polish government believe this is the Kremlin’s plan. On the other hand, I think many will agree that Putin is very good at seizing opportunities when they appear, “commented Jacob Volenstein, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s Belarus office.
Journalists in the program also say that Putin would certainly benefit from an increase in Russia’s military presence in Belarus as a result of this man-made migrant crisis. The Ministry of Defense pointed to the fact that the military component is growing in this crisis, mentioning both the recent training of Russian paratroopers at the border and the flights of strategic nuclear bombers for several days in a row close to the border.
“When I am told that strategic bombers are conducting intelligence, the children could be told, but not everyone should be considered a fool,” Garison said.