Lithuania, Latvia, Poland plan exercise to close border with Belarus
There are plans to organize regional exercises involving Latvia and Poland, during which coordinated algorithms will be tested in closing the border with Belarus, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said.
"These criteria have been developed, we have confirmed that we even plan to hold certain exercises of our agencies," she said in Vilnius on Friday after meeting with representatives of the Interior Ministries of Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Finland, Poland and Norway.
The meeting addressed "a more general context of possible situations," she said. "Today we have confirmed that the format that was in Warsaw and our joint actions are a very serious signal, in particular, to Belarus," Bilotaite said.
This algorithm will be tested "in such regional exercises," she said.
The interior ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland agreed in late August that the borders with Belarus could be shut in the event of an armed incident, if illegal migrants broke in. It was agreed that, in the event of these criteria, prompt information exchanges would take place, in particular, at the level of the services, and then a decision would be made at the intergovernmental level. The sides also agreed to introduce similar criteria for reacting to possible threats at the border.
On August 18, Lithuania closed the Sumskas (Losha on the Belarusian side) and Tveriacius (Vidzy) crossing points on the Belarusian border due to the geopolitical situation. Four crossing points on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border - Medininkai (Kamenny Log), Lavoriskes (Kotlovka), Raigardas (Privalka), and Salcininkai (Benyakoni) - remain open after the closing of Sumskas and Tveriacius.
Latvia closed one of the two working border crossing points on the Belarusian border, Silene (Urbany on the Belarusian side), on September 19 to prevent the threat of illegal migration.