RIGA - Video footage taken by Latvian border guards shows that migrants, accompanied by Belarusian militarized units, are being trafficked to the Belarusian border with Latvia and not allowed to return to the territory of Belarus, the Defense Ministry's portal sargs.lv reports.
In recent days, the State Border Guard together with the National Armed Forces (NAF) has identified several cases on the Latvian-Belarusian border where Belarussian militarized units are trying to divert migrants from the Middle East to the Latvian-Belarusian border.
This is proved by the video footage filmed by the border guards.
Since July this year, the Belarusian authorities have deliberately organized the flow of illegal migrants across the Latvian-Lithuanian border. Such action should be considered as part of the Belarus' hybrid activities against the Baltic States, Poland, NATO and the European Union.
The videos show that migrants, accompanied by Belarusian militarized units, are being relocated to the Belarusian border with Latvia, preventing them to return to Belarusian territory.
According to the obtained video materials, such attempts to forcibly "push" illegal border violators into the territory of Latvia have been detected on numerous occasions.
In one case, an attempt was made to bring a group of five migrants into Latvia along the railway line, accompanied by armed persons with at least three Kalashnikov-type rifles.
Another video shows three employees of Belarusian services, dressed in crowd-control equipment, as well as armed with sticks and shields, trying to cross a group of about ten migrants across the Belarusian-Latvian border.
The video of the State Border Guard, taken at another location, shows 15 to 16 Belarusian security service officers, dressed in crowd-driving equipment with helmets and face-covering balaclavas, armed with shields and sticks, have formed a human chain on the border with Belarus and Latvia. An equally large group of migrants stood in front of these Belarusian security service officers on the Belarusian border with Latvia.
All the videos show Belarusian militarized units.
Kristine Petersone, a representative of the State Border Guard, confirmed to LETA that the videos were taken after the declaration of the state of emergency.
Videos have also appeared in Lithuanian media before, showing how Belarusian authorities are trying to force immigrants to Lithuania.
As reported, the government on Tuesday declared a state of emergency at the Latvian-Belarusian border, authorizing the State Border Guard to use physical force in order to return illegal immigrants to the country from which they came.
Taking into consideration the steeply increasing numbers of illegal immigrants trying to cross into Latvia from Belarus, as well as the large number of illegal immigrants entering Lithuania from Belarus, the state of emergency will run from August 11 until November 10 in the following municipalities: Ludza Region, Kraslava Region, Augsdaugava Region, and the City of Daugavpils.
According to the government's decision, the National Armed Forces and the State Police will also assist the Border Guard with the prevention of illegal immigration.
The Border Guard, the Armed Forces and the State Police will have the right to instruct illegal immigrants to return to the country from which they came, as well as use physical force if an illegal immigrant ignores their instructions.