Recently, more and more people have been coming to Lithuania illegally from Belarus. Therefore, the government in Vilnius has started building a border fence to stop this migration.

Vilnius (dpa) – Due to the many illegal border crossings by migrants, Lithuania’s parliament has voted to build a border fence with Belarus.

This is how the emergency situation in the Baltic country must be tackled, the parliament announced on Wednesday evening in the capital Vilnius. Work on the barbed wire barrier with a total length of 550 kilometers started more than a month ago. “We need to have a strong, reliable border with Belarus as soon as possible,” Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said, according to the BNS agency. The costs for the border system are therefore estimated at around 150 million euros.

According to previous information from border guards, the barrier could be fully erected within a few months. Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has publicly threatened in the past to allow people from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria to cross the border in response to EU sanctions imposed on his country. There have been a particularly high number of illegal border crossings into Lithuania recently.

According to border guards, about 70 people at the border with neighboring Belarus were asked to return within 24 hours on Wednesday. Three migrants were arrested. This year there have already been 4100 illegal border crossings from Belarus.