The Latvian government this Tuesday extended the state of emergency imposed over the migration crisis in the region bordering Belarus by a further three months until May 10, arguing that the situation is “still tense”.
A state of emergency is in effect in the Ludza, Kraslava, Augsdaugava and Daugavpils districts. The government has reserved 3,888 million euros to cover the additional costs of the expansion.
The interior ministry has said that since August 10, nearly 5,500 people have been arrested for trying to cross the border illegally and that the number of migrants trying to enter the European country has increased since December 13 .
Latvia’s Interior Ministry said the surge was due to a “change in tactics” by migrants who, since mid-December, have been trying to cross “in small groups of three to 12 people, several times a day and in different places,” according to the LETA news agency.
Minister Maria Goluveba has defended that cooperation between the Interior, the army and border patrols has been “very successful” and has not ruled out the possibility of the state of emergency being lifted if the situation at the border improves “significantly”. .
Latvia declared a state of emergency on the border with Belarus on August 11. On November 10, it was extended again until February 10 of this year.
The European Union accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately bringing hundreds of people from conflict zones to the border to put pressure on the EU bloc. Lukashenko denies this.