Lithuanian border guards this weekend thwarted an attempt by migrants to illegally infiltrate from Belarus. Video footage of the incident suggests that Belarusian security forces organized the border crossing.
In a video released by the Border Protection Agency on Monday, two masked men in camouflage clothing can be seen marching towards the fence. The two then begin cutting a hole in the barrier.
After the work is done, the two people walk back towards the forest and indicate to a group of migrants that they must infiltrate into Lithuania through the gap.
Flee when border guards arrived
But this venture was unsuccessful, because when an alarmed border patrol arrived, everyone fled to Belarusian territory and disappeared into the forest.
Since 2021, Lithuania has been confronted with migrants wanting to enter the EU illegally at the border with Belarus, a close ally of Russia. Like Poland and Latvia, the Baltic state accuses Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko of organizing migrants to the EU’s external border to put pressure on the West.
So far this year there have been 85 attempts to damage the fence
Countries have therefore increased border protection and erected physical barriers. According to the border guard, 85 attempts to deliberately damage the fence have been recorded in Lithuania so far this year – compared to 467 cases in 2022.
Finland accuses Moscow of forcing border crossings
Russia is apparently also currently using migrants as a weapon. Finland and Estonia have recorded an increase in the number of migrants from Russia in recent days and weeks. In response, Finland has closed four of its nine border crossings with Russia.
Moscow rejects Finland’s accusations that it is smuggling undocumented migrants across the border to destabilize the neighboring country, which has been a NATO member since April. “We do not accept such accusations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow on Monday. “Border crossings are used by those who have the right to do so,” he added. The Finnish accusations were described as “far-fetched”.
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