Lithuanian border authorities on Sunday detained 125 people attempting to illegally cross into the country from Belarus, the highest number of migrants arrested since the beginning of the year.
The influx and attempts to cross the border have been growing in recent weeks, so much so that record numbers have been reached, with 109 arrests at the end of July and 124 already last week.
These latest figures are reminiscent of those recorded during the height of last year’s migration crisis. For Lithuania, Belarus is now directing these people to its borders, as over the weekend, Latvian authorities “have not had to return illegal migrants”.
“This shows that the Belarusian services, which control the influx of migrants, have left this border alone and are directing the main flow to Lithuania,” the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service has noted.
Since mid-2021, Lithuania has tightened its migration policies due to the large influx of people who have been trying to cross from Belarus. For the government in Vilnius, Minsk has used migration to put pressure on European authorities in retaliation for the sanctions imposed on it.