RIGA - Latvia has prepared action plans in case the situation on the border with Belarus changes, Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (Development/For) said in a statement to the media Monday.
LETA was told at the Interior Ministry that the State Border Guard and other authorities are closely following reports on the situation at the Polish-Belarusian border and developments in Belarus. Representatives of the Ministries of Interior, Defense and Foreign Affairs, as well as law enforcement authorities held their regular meeting on Monday and also communicated with colleagues in Lithuania and Poland.
Although the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has escalated in recent weeks, the number of illegal border crossings from Belarus to Latvia has decrease, but the situation can change at any time and the Interior Ministry has prepared action plans also for the changeable scenarios.
The ministry continues to work with the State Border Guard, the National Armed Forces and other services to ensure the protection the border. The decision to step up border controls will be taken quickly if needed.
The Interior Ministry also noted that more than half of the temporary barbed-wire fence has been installed on the border already and that the construction of the fence would be completed in November.
Responding to the escalation on the Polish-Belarusian border, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks (Development/For) said on Twitter that Belarus continues to escalate its hybrid attack on Poland. Latvia stands united with Poland and demands that the European Union (EU) and its member states support Poland in this difficult moment.
As reported, a large column of people moving towards Poland is seen in images circulating on social media.
Lithuanian border guards are regrouping as a large column of migrants are moving in Belarus towards the Polish border, the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service reports.
Its chief Rustamas Liubajevas says some 1,000-1,500 people might be near the Polish border in Belarus.
"They are gathering lose to Bruzgi-Kuznica border checkpoint. We had that information over the weekend," Liubajevas told the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense on Monday.
"We were getting ready for possible scenarios over the weekend and we already have decisions made today, and we are holding meeting with the Lithuanian army's Joint Staff and we plan to use the opportunity and put an additional number of trops on standby. We have already coordinated action with the police, the Public Security Service and we are regrouping our forces," he added.
"We are getting ready for all possible scenarios," the SBGS chief said.
Over 4,200 irregular migrants have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year.
Vilnius accuses the Minsk regime of orchestrating the unprecedented migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression". An extreme situation is in place in Lithuania which is also building a physical barrier on its border with Belarus.
Meanwhile, Latvian Interior Minister Marija Golubeva (For Development/For) said in a Twitter post that these are alarming news and the Latvian Border Guard is following the development of the situation.