KIEV, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine may face an influx of illegal migrants because the European Union (EU) is introducing tougher migration policies, the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) of Ukraine said in a statement on Tuesday.
"In the near future, Ukraine may encounter a problem of a sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants," said Petro Tsygykal, head of the SBGS.
He noted that the number of illegal migrants to Ukraine is already rising.
Tsygykal explained that stricter European migration and border control rules forced the refugees to turn to non-EU countries, including Ukraine, where they seek a temporary or permanent shelter.
In the first six months of 2018, Ukrainian border guards have prevented some 2,000 potential illegal migrants from entering Ukraine, up 25 percent from the same period a year ago.
Furthemore, in January through June, 420 foreigners and stateless persons were detained for illegally crossing the Ukrainian border compared with 320 people in the first six months of 2017.
According to the data from the International Organization for Migrants (IOM), 52,240 migrants or refugees arrived in Europe as of June 20 this year, compared to 186,768 in 2017.