Estonia sending reinforcements to help Latvia stave off inflow of illegal immigrants

  • 2023-09-14
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonia will send reinforcements to Latvia to help the neighboring country stave off illegal migrants' massive attempts to enter Latvia from Belarus, Estonian Minister of the Interior Lauri Laanemets informed. 

At a news conference following a meeting of the Estonian government on Thursday, Laanemets said that a high number of attempts to illegally cross into Latvia from Belarus has been recorded in recent weeks. 

"On the one hand, Belarus is testing its neighbor's capabilities, but on the other, these are hybrid attacks," Laanemets said, adding that the situation is tense. 

"The Latvian side asked Estonia to send assistance, and we decided to send forces from Estonia to Latvia to help at the border. The Police and Border Guard Board is making preparations for a 10-20-strong unit under ESTPOL-8 to go assist Latvia, mainly as border guards, but also with deterrent capabilities," the Estonian minister said. 

Estonia is prepared to help Latvia as long as it takes and to replace the unit if needed, the minister said. 

As reported, Lithuanian Deputy Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius said on Monday that Lithuania is sending 20 border guards to Latvia to assist the neighboring country which is facing record migrant flows. 

In view of the rapidly growing hybrid threat on the Latvian-Belarusian border, the State Border Guard has mobilized additional border guards to strengthen the protection of the external border. The State Border Guard has also requested additional support from the National Armed Forces and the State Police.