The migration crisis on the Latvia-Belarus border is worsening. The head of the Latvian border guard, Guntis Pujats, quoted by the LETA agency, warned that “there is a risk of the Belarusian authorities orchestrating a provocation by gathering hundreds of migrants in one place.”
He emphasized that Belarusian border guards assist the migrants; they escort them to the border and destroy Latvia’s border infrastructure.
Recently, dozens of people have been trying to cross the border illegally every day, Pujats reported. As he assessed, lately, migrants have become more aggressive, not obeying the commands of the border guards and attempting to flee during apprehension. On Sunday, a border guard officer fired a warning shot to stop one fleeing individual.
Pujats assured that the situation falls under the control of the Latvian border guards but added that “if people trying to cross the border illegally start using weapons, the armed forces should be deployed.”
He also noted that the border guard is well-prepared and equipped with automatic firearms.
Latvian authorities have decided to mobilize additional forces to protect the border after detecting 96 attempts to cross it illegally in a single day. The Latvian side also conveyed that they have information indicating a possible increase in hybrid threats.
On Aug. 28 in Warsaw, there will be a meeting of the interior ministers of Poland and the Baltic countries, dedicated to the situation on the border with Belarus.