Lithuania accuses Belarus of weaponizing migrants against EU

16:58, 12 July 2021
Lithuania accuses Belarus of weaponizing migrants against EU Photo: pixabay.com

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister says Belarus sends illegal refugees in his country and the Union.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis suggests that the EU should impose new sanctions on Belarus. He claims that the Belarusian government brings migrants predominantly from Iraq and sends them to Lithuania.

Lithuanian authorities report that they have registered at least 800 cases of border crossing from Belarus.

This Friday the country bagan building a 550-km razor wire wall on its border with Belarus.

The Lithuanian FM calls these acts ‘a means of pressure on the EU’ which has earlier imposed sanctions on Belarus. The cause for it was the controversial presidential elections and Alexander Lukashenko’s victory, followed by long-time mass protests and police crackdown. Last month the sanctions were extended because of the Belarusian government’s order to stop a plane with a dissident journalist on board flying from Athens to Vilnius.

"We need to be very strict with the regimes who are using these sorts of weapons, first of all with sanctions, when these sorts of hybrid attacks are used against the European Union," Landsbergis said.

On Monday the EU border guard agency Frontex assured that more officers, patrol cars, and experts charged to talk to refugees to collect information would be sent to the border.

Frontex also expressed concerns over the situation and added that the external border of the EU requires reinforcing.