05:31 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Frontex officials and Greek police escort migrants aboard a Turkish boat heading to Turkey from the port of Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos on October 21, 2016

    Illegal Border Crossings Into EU Rise by 10% in March Compared to February

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    According to reports, European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex detected almost 13,000 illegal border crossings in three chief migratory routes into the European Union in March.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex detected almost 13,000 illegal border crossings in three chief migratory routes into the European Union in March, which is 10 percent more than in February, but constitutes a decrease, compared to the first quarter of 2016, the agency said in a press release Wednesday.

    "There were almost 13 000 detections of illegal border crossings on the three main migratory routes into the EU in March. This is 10% more than in the previous month," the press release read.

    According to the statement, the total number of detections in the first quarter of 2017 was 32,650, or 70 percent fewer than in the corresponding period in 2016.

    The agency noted in its press release that Italy remained under pressure, as the number of migrants arriving by sea rose by more than 20 percent to 10,800, which brought the total number of arrivals for the first three months of the year to 24,250, which is 30 percent higher than the figures for the corresponding period in 2016.

    Frontex said that most of the detected migrants were from Bangladesh, Nigeria and Guinea.

    According to the agency, there were 1,690 arrivals in Greece and fewer than 380 illegal border crossings in the Western Balkans in March.

    Europe has been beset by an immigration crisis with thousands of people fleeing the poverty or conflict in their home countries and striving to reach the European Union. The bloc has been looking for various ways to solve this problem.

    The EU-Turkey deal on migrants has helped to bring down the number of illegal crossings, as Ankara pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who come ashore in Greece if EU countries receive Syrian refugees resettled from Turkish camps on a one-for-one basis.

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