The eastern Mediterranean migratory route was the third most active on the external borders of the European Union during the first five months of 2022, according to preliminary calculations published by Frontex.
A significant percentage of this activity was recorded in Cyprus, the EU external border agency found.
The largest number of arrivals during the same period was recorded on the Western Balkans route (40,675 crossings, or half of the total number recorded at EU’s borders), the Central Mediterranean route (16,828 crossings) and the Eastern Mediterranean (13,668 crossings).
On the Eastern Mediterranean in particular, the number of detections rose by 116 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Detections in Cyprus rose sharply compared with last year, by 213 per cent and accounted for two out of every three illegal border crossings on this route (9,230 crossings).
Most migrants on the Eastern Mediterranean came from Nigeria, Syria and Congo (Kinshasa).
In May, the number of irregular migrants rose 55 per cent to 2,226 persons.
Between January and May, 86,420 irregular entries were detected at the European Union’s external borders.
This was 82 per cent more than in the same period last year.
People fleeing Ukraine and entering the EU through border crossing points are not part of the figures of illegal entries detected. According to the latest Frontex data, more than 5.5 million Ukrainian citizens have entered the EU from Ukraine and Moldova since the beginning of invasion in February.