Estonian Police and Border Guard Board will send an ESTPOL5 police unit to Lithuania to help prevent mass illegal immigration on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border.
Egert Belitchev, the head of the Border Guard Department of the PBGB, said that on July 2, Lithuania declared a state of emergency due to increased illegal migration from Belarus. “As the risk of illegal migration on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border will remain high in the near future, the PBGB will send an ESTPOL5 team to Lithuania with the approval of the Minister of the Interior,” Belichev said.
On July 7, a team of ten will start their journey from Estonia, the five members of which should have initially headed to Slovenia to solve the migration crisis. The PBGB will deploy the team for an initial period of one month. The more specific tasks of ESTPOL5 will be clarified on the spot, but Lithuania needs Estonia’s assistance at the border, for example in drone surveillance, object monitoring tasks and monitoring the situation.
“Assistance to Lithuania is part of the Estonian-Lithuanian bilateral cooperation agreement. We support Lithuania in resolving the crisis, but any such operation will also provide our people with a valuable experience. The contribution to general international co-operation is not insignificant either, that if Estonia needs help, we also have allies who support in a difficult situation, “said Belitchev. Although migration pressure on Estonia is not high at the moment, the PBGB has established and practiced mass illegal migration “We will also do additional exercises in July and August, with different migration-related scenarios,” he added.
In the past, the PBGB has performed border control and surveillance tasks in Greece, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Slovenia, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania, and in Poland and Finland.