During Moldova's Minister of the Interior visit: common challenges and Lithuania's good practice


2022 12 23


Lithuanian and Moldovan Ministers of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė and Ana Revenco discussed cooperation in the field of home affairs, the security situation in the region, the strengthening of border security, as well as preparations for a possible second wave of refugees from Ukraine.

"Lithuania and Moldova are facing the same threats - Russia, the war in Ukraine and the consequences of the war. We discussed with the Minister the lessons learned and preparations for various hybrid attacks. We support Moldova on its path towards Euro-integration and are ready to share the experience and good practices of the Lithuanian internal affairs system. We have also responded positively to the Moldovan Minister's request for assistance in aligning Moldova's national legislation with EU legal requirements," said Minister Bilotaitė.

In autumn, Moldova faced a series of hybrid attacks launched by Russia to change the country's democratic course. Several power outages across the country were caused by Russian missile strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure, as well as mobile phone disruptions, fake bomb threats in courts, schools and institutions, organised pro-Russian protests in the capital, and cyber-attacks on government institutions and representatives. According to Interior Minister Revenco, the Ministry of the Interior is responsible for all security.

"Ensuring Moldova's security is also ensuring the security of Ukraine and the EU as a whole. We have a common enemy and only together can we defend democratic values", said Minister Revenco.

The meeting discussed the reception of Ukrainian war refugees and preparations for a possible second wave. Since the start of the war in Ukraine, 645 000 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in neighbouring Moldova, while 81 000 remain on Moldovan territory, half of them children. Lithuania was one of the first to offer Moldova a share of the burden, promising to accommodate up to 2,000 Ukrainian citizens. So far, 249 Ukrainians have been resettled in Lithuania.

Lithuania has taken in 72,000 people from Ukraine, more than 25,000 of whom are minors. Lithuania ranks fourth in the EU after the Czech Republic, Estonia and Poland, with Ukrainians making up around 2.5% of the Lithuanian population. Around 20 000 Ukrainians have found jobs in Lithuania and are active participants in the labour market. According to statistics, about 50% of those who can work are employed. At the moment, preparations are underway to take in another 20-30 thousand people from Ukraine if necessary.

"Only together, in close cooperation, can we overcome the suffering and the challenges that Russia poses not only to the Ukrainian people, but also to its neighbours and the whole world. Our countries have shown that they can make an important contribution to helping Ukraine and welcoming Ukrainians, despite their limited resources. The ongoing Russian aggression and the cold season pose new challenges for Ukraine and its people. We are preparing for a second wave of Ukrainians, and we are ready to help Moldova, which is facing unprecedented flows of war refugees," said Minister Bilotaitė.

Minister Bilotaitė outlined the situation of irregular migration at the border with Belarus, as well as the maximum reinforcement of state border protection during the year. A physical barrier has been installed on a 502 km stretch of the border with Belarus, and by the end of the year, an automated border surveillance system will be installed on a 640 km stretch and will monitor 94% of the state border with Belarus. The entire sea border of more than 119 kilometres, as well as the entire border with Russia - almost 275 kilometres excluding the maritime part - is currently under close surveillance.

Today, the Moldovan delegation visited the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, to get acquainted with the border protection system, as well a  the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior, where the delegation learned about the ongoing police reform.