“Russia has always been our main source of illegal migrants. Practically all of them come from Russia, either through Belarus, Estonia or Latvia. This is nothing new. But naturally, if you apply pressure in one place, the flow will increase elsewhere,” said a government official who did not want to be named.
Lithuanian government officials say that this scenario is not worth panicking over, but that preparations must be made, as Norway and Finland have shown that Syrian and Afghani immigrants who have been living in Russia for several years have been planning to cross the border into the EU.
On Tuesday, the State Border Guard Service began border control resumption exercises to practice the rapid and efficient resumption of border controls with Latvia. Soon, exercises along Lithuania’s external EU border will be held as well. These exercises are part of preparations for rapidly resuming border controls in the event of security or public order threats.