Illegal migration pressure on Latvia has eased - interior minister

  • 2023-11-23
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Over the past couple of weeks, the pressure of illegal migration from Belarus on the Latvian border has eased, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said Thursday in an interview on Latvian Television.

The minister said that the number of migrants attempting to cross into Latvia from Belarus has been decreasing for the past two weeks and that yesterday border guards recorded no attempts to cross the border illegally. 

Meanwhile, migration pressure on the borders of Lithuania and Poland has been growing again. Kozlovskis therefore assumes that the pressure on Latvia can resume in some time, so the special regime in Latvia's border areas will remain in place. 

Over the past year, law enforcement authorities have started 118 criminal procedures for aiding illegal border crossings.

Asked if it would be necessary to close all crossing points on Latvia's borders with Belarus and Russia, the minister said that such a measure makes sense only if is taken by all countries in the region.

Kozlovskis noted that border guards still have work extremely hard, for which they receive extra pay.

Commenting on next year's funding for law enforcement and emergency services, Kozlovskis said that the budget increase planned for 2024 will not meet all needs, but that a greater emphasis on the sector's funding is needed in the 2025 budget.