The Lithuanian authorities have said that the entire 678.82-kilometre-long border section with Belarus is continuing to be monitored by modern border monitoring systems at all times.
According to the Ministry of Interior of Lithuania, the country has consistently been making improvements to its systems so that they can keep in check all movements and prevent hybrid attacks, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
At the beginning of 2022, only around 53 per cent of the border section between Lithuania and Belarus was being monitored with the help of modern systems, whereas at the end of the same year, 96 per cent of the border was being monitored, leading to the authorities to have better control on illegal movement.
Commenting on the matter, the Lithuanian Minister of Interior, Agnė Bilotaitė, said that increased border security is necessary in order to prevent any hybrid attacks and the same stressed that as soon as the installation of border monitoring systems is completed the country will take further steps.
“Instrumentalised migration as a phenomenon has not disappeared and is likely to be around forever. We must continue to strengthen the border protection infrastructure. After the installation of the border monitoring systems is completed, the next step is the installation of a patrol path and a control strip along the entire stretch of the border with Belarus,” the statement of Minister Bilotaitė reads.
According to the Ministry, by installing a patrol path on the border with Belarus, the Lithuanian border authorities will be able to respond more swiftly to border violations and cases that have to do with damage to the physical barrier.
Lithuania currently has a state of emergency along the entire border section with Belarus, and it just recently decided to extend this measure until May 2, 2023.
The state of emergency at the border of Lithuania with Belarus was set to end last week. However, after evaluating the current situation, the authorities decided to prolong it so that they could continue to ensure public safety for all citizens.
During the time that the state of emergency continues to apply, the Lithuanian authorities will carry out thorough border checks as well as they will protect the border under an enhanced regime.
In addition, apart from keeping strict border rules, Lithuania also continues to apply a strict visa regime for all citizens of Belarus. Lithuania has already stopped issuing visas to citizens of Belarus and has suspended its other services.
Currently, Lithuania issues visas to citizens of Belarus only when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mediates.