RIGA - Given the pressure exerted by Belarus on the Latvian-Belarusian border, we should be prepared for different scenarios, said Defense Minister of the outgoing government Inara Murniece (National Alliance) in an interview on Latvian Television this morning.
Over the past year, the pressure of illegal immigration on the border with Belarus has been increasing. In early September, as in late August, the number of migrants refused entry from Belarus was over 100 per day for several days.
She explained that in view of the pressure from Belarus at the border, it had been decided to reschedule the Namejs military exercise and the Latvian army would provide additional support to Latvian border guards.
One very important part of this exercise is being played out near Latvia's eastern border, Murniece added.
Murniece stressed that the situation on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border has changed, the threat there has lessened and the "pressure element is concentrated on Latvia".
"We have to be prepared for different scenarios. Military stabilization of the border must be on the agenda," Murniece continued.
As reported, Lithuania is sending 20 border guards to Latvia to assist the neighboring country which is facing record migrant flows, Lithuanian Deputy Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius said on Monday.
"We have a preliminary decision to send (...) up to 20 border guards to help," he told BNS.
Meanwhile, the Latvian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is assessing the deployment of anti-tank mines and various additional barriers to strengthen the security of Latvia's eastern border.
The concept states that the necessary engineering upgrading of Latvia's external border with physical and technological solutions in line with the potential threat of the adversary is an important set of measures to strengthen the country's internal and external security.
The National Armed Forces (NAF), in cooperation with the State Border Guard and national security institutions, should develop plans and train for hybrid and conventional threat scenarios.