Migrants at Belarus border: Latvia declares state of emergency | free press

Belarusian ruler Lukashenko threatens to let refugees from the Near and Middle East cross the border into neighboring countries of the EU. But they are not welcome there.

Riga (AP) – Latvia has declared a state of emergency in parts of the country because of hundreds of illegal migrants on the border with Belarus. It is valid until November 10 for several regions in the southeast and south of the country near Belarus. This has been decided by the government in the capital Riga.

According to the BNS agency, the border guards are therefore authorized to return illegally arrived migrants from neighboring Belarus – if necessary by force.

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. In particular, there were many illegal border crossings in Lithuania, where the government has already declared a state of emergency in order to respond more quickly.

According to the agency, 283 people have been arrested for illegally crossing the border into Latvia in the past four days alone. In recent months there have been more than 340. The EU is considering further sanctions against Lukashenko – also because the ruler is exploiting migrants for political ends.

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