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Latvia Plans to Extend State of Emergency at Belarusian Border Until May 10

Authorities in Latvia are planning to extend the state of emergency in the Ludza Region, Augsdaugava Region, Kraslava Region, and the City of Daugavpils until May 10.

Such an initiative proposed by the Ministry of the Interior comes after taking into account the situation at Latvia’s border with Belarus, as reported by the Baltic Times.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, since August 10, last year, a total of 4,962 people have attempted to reach Latvia through the common border with Belarus. In addition, since December 13, the number of migrants attempting to reach Latvia through Belarusian routes has marked a significant increase, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Following the surge in the number of migrants, Latvia’s government declared a state of emergency from August 11 until November and then extended such measures to February 10, in the following areas: Kraslava Region, Ludza Region, Augsdaugava Region, and the City of Daugavpils.

In this regard, Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, said that the EU and Belarus border situation emphasizes the need to introduce new changes at the Schengen Border Code that would help the countries to respond in an appropriate way to any future hybrid threats.

 “Latest developments at the border between the EU and Belarus demonstrate the need to also work on amendments to the Schengen Border Code, which would enable the Member States to respond appropriately to any future hybrid threat instrumentalising migration,” Rinkēvičs stressed.

The Minister’s comment came after the increased number of migrants that Belarus’ neighboring countries;Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, including Latvia face.

Previously Lithuania also declared a state of emergency at the country’s border with Belarus. However, Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda did not consider it necessary to extend the state of emergency after January 14. According to him, the situation permits such a decision to be put to an end.

The migrant issue continues to be among the most discussed topics by European countries’ authorities, who are continuously attempting to find new ways in order to deal with such a situation.

Recently, Lithuanian and Iraqi authorities discussed regarding the migrants stranded at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, while both parties’ authorities sought to find an effective way that would end the migrants’ crisis.

On the other hand, authorities in Poland announced that they are planning to build a 186 km-long wall along its border with Belarus in order to prevent another increase in the number of migrants that attempt to reach Poland through Belarus.

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