Photo from UNIAN

Head of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service Petro Tsyhykal has said Ukraine may face the problem of a sharp influx of illegal migrants against EU toughening its migration policies.

"Ukraine will soon face the problem of a sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants who will try to enter our country, both legally and illegally" he said, according to the agency's website.

Tsyhykal noted such a situation is predicted based on the fact that the countries of the European Union significantly strengthen their policies on combating illegal migration, so such influxes might be reoriented to other regions, including Ukraine.

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"Today we are already seeing an increase in the number of illegal migrants on the legal entry channels. This is when potential illegal migrants, relying on the support of diasporas, using officially issued travel documents, or choosing other conditionally legal ways, try to get into Ukraine, then stay here illegally or further penetrate the border into the EU," he said.

More than 2,000 potential illegal migrants have not been denied entry over the six months of this year, whereas the number of foreigners of this category in 2017 amounted to 1,600 people. Almost 420 "travelers" were detained for illegal border crossing in 2018, while more than 1,000 people were revealed violating rules of stay.

Tsyhykal called several priority areas to prevent a possible migration crisis.

"Firstly, it is necessary to toughen migration legislation and criminalize illegal border crossing. Secondly, law enforcement agencies need to work out in detail the aspects of cooperation to prevent illegal migrants from entering our country and to strengthen engineering development of the border line. This is a complex issue that concerns all participants of the national security and defense sector," he said.