Cheap ruble upped illegal migration to Lithuania

Foto: AFP/Scanpix

The dropping value of the currencies of Russia and Belarus has forced some migrant workers from these countries to make their way to Lithuania, mostly illegally, the State Border Guard Service says.

"Many economic migrants had come to Russia or Belarus legally, mostly to work in construction. But as the ruble has depreciated, their employers do not always pay them or their salaries have shrunk considerably, so they are looking for ways to make their way to the richer European countries," Rokas Pukinskas, chief specialist at the Service's Prevention Department, told the daily Lietuvos Žinios.

Most of the migrants coming to Lithuania from Belarus and Russia were Vietnamese, he added.

He says that migrant workers from Russia and Belarus often come to Lithuania illegally. Last year, the Border Guard Service detained about 400 such migrants.

While illegal migration from Belarus and Russia is on the increase, the number of tourists from these countries has been shrinking. The depreciating ruble has hit Lithuanian hospitality industry.

Source: BNS
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