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Lithuanian security forces discuss increased threats from Belarusian immigrants

Lithuanian security forces discuss increased threats from Belarusian immigrants Illustrative photo (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The sharp increase in the flow of immigrants from Belarus to Lithuania poses additional threats and risks to the country's national security, states the Lithuanian State Security Department.

"The State Security Department does not comment on individual cases but notes that it has repeatedly warned of the risks and threats associated with a sharp increase in the flow of immigrants from Belarus," the statement says.

It is not excluded that some of those providing information to state institutions may be attempting to conceal information about their service or employment relationships.

Belarus may be recruiting agents

Lithuania's intelligence service specifies that the majority of migrants from Belarus are economic migrants, and only a portion of Belarusians living in Lithuania participate in various opposition activities.

"This opens up opportunities for Belarusian special services to expand their activities and use loyal individuals against Lithuania's interests," the Department states.

How many Belarusians pose a threat to Lithuania

The Department reports that last year it conducted a total of 121,577 threat assessments originating from foreigners, and regarding 1,415 individuals, it provided conclusions to the Migration Department that their residence in Lithuania posed a threat to the country's security.

Approximately 80% of these individuals are citizens of Belarus, and most of them are associated with the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.

"Among those Belarusians whose residence in Lithuania poses a security threat, approximately 60% worked in the internal affairs system or state institutions, approximately 30% served in the armed forces, and up to 10% worked in the military industry or other strategic facilities," notes the Department.

According to intelligence information, conclusions about the threat posed by foreign citizens to the country's security are made taking into account available intelligence information and other data.

Lithuania's stance on sanctions against Belarus

Recently, the heads of customs services in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia agreed on joint control during the implementation of European Union sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

In November, it was also announced that Lithuania would impose fines for non-compliance with international and national sanctions.