Minister: Russian agents could arrive under the guise of the flow of people fleeing the mobilization

“Along with the mass of Russians fleeing the mobilization, we could also receive threats that may turn against us, because among the arriving persons pretending to flee the mobilization, there may be officials of intelligence and military structures or persons recruited by them, who will carry out malicious diversionary anti-state activities in Lithuania, will create a network of “sleeper agents” in Lithuania until they receive a signal to carry out open anti-state activities”, said A. Bilotaitė during the session of the Seimas on Thursday.

She also noted that after Lithuania, together with Latvia, Estonia and Poland, already closed its borders to Russian tourists fleeing the mobilization, they are choosing other directions, because Lithuania is showing a “hard stance on non-acceptance”.

According to her, since Lithuania closed its borders with the Baltic countries and Poland to Russian tourists since last week, the flow of people trying to arrive decreased by about 45 percent, and about 1,400 Russian citizens crossing the border per day are truck drivers or transit Kaliningrad.

“The retreating Russians are choosing other directions, not in our region, because we demonstrate a tough stance on non-acceptance, so we can see how timely and correct this decision was, because together with the flow of Russians fleeing from mobilization, we could also receive threats”, – the Seimas in response to the opposition A. Bilotaitė stated the questions.

The Minister of the Interior stated that the possible threats from representatives of Russian services under the guise of mobilization are demonstrated by the example of Ukraine, when the number of Russians arriving in the country increased before the war.

“After the declaration of war, it cannot be ruled out that these persons became members of diverse groups,” said the minister.

The opposition of the Seimas demanded explanations regarding the Russian citizens who crossed the border during Tuesday’s session of the Seimas, after the publication of data that despite the ban on Russian tourists entering Lithuania, almost 10 thousand Russian citizens crossed the border during the past week.

The minister of the interior, who submitted the answers on Thursday, said that after Lithuania and the states of the region closed their borders to Russians, the total flow of passing Russian citizens decreased by 45 percent.

“Russian tourists don’t dare to come here, now about 1,400 Russian citizens pass by per day, but that’s 45 percent. truck drivers and 48 percent Kaliningrad transit passengers. In ten days, 220 persons were denied entry to Lithuania, 93 in Latvia, 262 in Estonia. Tourists fleeing mobilization are not seeking asylum in Lithuania either, six cases have been recorded who claim to avoid mobilization, and all of them were denied entry,” A. Bilotaitė provided the data.

Before that, the representatives of the opposition who spoke in the debate accused the ruling party of not answering the public’s questions on time, thus sowing anxiety.

“This is the first time in the history of Lithuania that we have been living in a special status for such a long time, after the state of emergency was introduced. That status says that the next one can only be stricter, the introduction of martial law, and how we live in the state – we don’t know who is responsible for the state of emergency, no information is provided, no situation at the border is presented,” said “peasant” Dainius Gaižauskas.

“I hear, now A. Bilotaitė is saying – call me and I will answer. You are very late, you answer questions only when we invite you, this should not be the case. (…) It seems that no one is in charge of the state during the state of emergency, it’s enough to mock and answer serious questions we ask with anecdotes,” he said.

Pauliaus Peleckis/BNS photo/Vytautas Bakas

Vytautas Bakas, representative of the “Vardas Lietuvos” faction of the Democratic Union, meanwhile, called for the admission of Russians fleeing the mobilization, because “people have the right to refuse to participate in military actions and to receive the right to asylum.”

He also said that when the crisis arose last year due to migrants from the Middle East and Africa who flowed to Lithuania through the border of Belarus, “in practice, Lithuania withdrew from the right of asylum”.

“We have violated almost all possible international legislation on migration while managing this crisis, this is the bankruptcy of our domestic policy,” V. Bakas said and urged “to return to the international community.”

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization last week, thousands of Russian men left and are still going to host countries – Sakartvel, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Turkey.

The Ministry of the Interior informed on Wednesday that based solely on the fact that a person does not want to go to the war started by Russia, asylum in Lithuania cannot be obtained. It will not be enough to prove the threat that has arisen by simply showing that you received a draft for military service.

The description of the procedure for granting asylum in Lithuania states that a person can receive asylum if it is established that he has a reasonable fear of being persecuted for refusing to perform military service during the conflict, which would involve committing crimes against peace, humanity or war crimes.

Since last Monday, only persons who meet the criteria approved by the Government are admitted to the Baltic states and Poland: Russian diplomats, dissidents, employees of transport companies, family members of EU citizens, as well as Russians with residence permits or long-term national visas from Schengen countries.

Also, Russian citizens can continue to travel to and from the Kaliningrad region via Lithuania via transit trains.

The ban on the entry of Russian citizens is provided for in the resolution adopted by the Seimas regarding the declaration of a state of emergency on the border between Russia and Belarus. It will be valid at least until December 16 inclusive.

Countries in the region imposed entry restrictions on Russians as Moscow continued its invasion of Ukraine.

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