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African migrants caught fleeing to EU via Russia’s westernmost region

December 01, 2015, 16:42 UTC+3 KALININGRAD
Last month, 20 cases were registered, the authority's press service said. Migrants come from Egypt, India, Cameroon, Congo, Cuba, Morocco and Rwanda
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© Yelena Nagornykh/ITAR-TASS

KALININGRAD, December 1. /TASS/. Migrants from African countries have been trying to reach territory of the European Union through Russia’s Baltic exclave Kaliningrad, the border department of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Tuesday.

Last month, 20 cases were registered, the authority's press service said. Migrants come from Egypt, India, Cameroon, Congo, Cuba, Morocco and Rwanda.

"They arrive in the region on tourist visas. They are assured that they can freely reach the EU from Kaliningrad," a security service spokesman said, adding that these visas allow no such possibility. The next step is to illegally cross the region’s border with Lithuania or Poland and to acquire refugee status in the EU.

Kaliningrad border guards catch the migrants upon their arrival in the Khrabrovo airport, however. "Violations are prevented directly at the state border," the spokesman added.

Over the past 11 months, the number of similar violations reached 89, compared with 73 cases last year. The maximum number was registered in 2013, when 135 foreigners arrived in Kaliningrad region seeking to flee to the EU.

This Russian region is surrounded by European Union states, bordering with Lithuania and Poland. The border length with these countries, including maritime areas, reaches around 650 kilometres.

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