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    Lithuanian border guards perform check on cars at the border with Latvia near Zarasai, Lithuania, March 8, 2016

    Lithuania Starts Border Control Restoration Exercises Amid Refugee Crisis

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    Lithuania started a week-long exercise on Tuesday to prepare for control restoration at the border with Latvia amid the migrant crisis in Europe, the Lithuanian Border Service said Tuesday.

    VILNIUS (Sputnik) — Lithuanian military volunteer corps, border inspectors, as well as police and security services are taking part in the exercises.

    "The exercises will be held in Zarasai and Rokiskis areas. During the exercises the control will resume at the former customs in Obeliai and Smeline which ceased operation in December 2007, when Lithuania and Latvia became members of the Schengen zone," a spokesman for the Lithuanian Border Service, Giedrius Misutis, told Ziniu Radijas radio station.

    On March 14-15, the Lithuanian border guards in cooperation with their colleagues from Latvia will perform random checks of individuals traveling from Lithuania, Misutis added.

    The European Union is currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. EU border agency Frontex recorded more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the bloc in 2015.

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    security, border, military drills, Lithuania
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