Lithuania records rapid rise in irregular migration

This comes in addition to the barbed wire fence being installed on the border with Belarus by the Lithuanian military. [EPA-EFE/VALDA KALNINA]

The number of undocumented migrants detained in Lithuania after crossing from Belarus has increased to 397, including six Iraqi nationals stopped on Thursday (17 June).

In comparison, 81 people were detained in 2020, 46 in 2019, and 104 in 2018.

Previously, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė said allowing irregular migration was a conscious policy pursued by the Minsk regime against Lithuania, calling it a “hybrid war”.

In response to the international uproar over the forced diversion of a passenger plane in Minsk in May, Alexander Lukashenko said Belarus would no longer stop “drugs and migrants” entering the EU.

Lithuanian officials then said Belarusian officers are complicit in facilitating irregular migration. (

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