Around 450 new officers will join Lithuania’s State Border Guard Service (VSAT) and will be guarding the border with Belarus over the next two years. The Chairman of VSAT, Rustamas Lubavas, made this announcement to the members of the parliamentary committee on national security and defense.
The additional officers, who will be deployed to protect the border with Belarus, will be trained and ready for service in 2024-2025. Before starting their service, the new officers will undergo a three-month introductory course. Lubavas emphasized that the decision to recruit additional personnel was made based on the assessment of their manpower potential. It would be challenging to organize the training and fill the positions within a year, so a two-year timeframe was considered.
The border between Lithuania and Belarus also serves as an external border of the European Union. Since 2021, it has faced a flow of illegal migration, which Lithuanian officials claim is being orchestrated by the Belarusian regime. Over the course of more than two years, Lithuanian border guards have prevented the illegal entry of 21,500 migrants from Belarus, some of whom have attempted to cross the border multiple times.
In late October, an article was published in the “Evening Minsk” publication quoting Pavel Muraveiko, the first deputy secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, stating that Belarus had “sufficient grounds” to act aggressively against Lithuania to secure the transit of Belarusian goods. In response, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested to the temporary chargé d’affaires of Belarus, Yaroslav Khmelev.
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