Lithuanian president says Lukashenka’s regime responsible for migrant crisis

Nauseda has asked the European Union and Frontex for technical and diplomatic assistance.

European Council President Charles Michel and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda give a joint press conference. Vilnius, Lithuania. July 5, 2020. Photo: Ihar Kuley, Belsat

On July 5, European Council President Charles Michel came on a working visit to Vilnius, where he met with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda. They gave a joint press conference following the talks, discussing the challenges Lithuania is facing, European solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic, and assistance to Lithuania with vaccines.

Nauseda mentioned “unprecedented pressure” at the border and called the Belarusian regime responsible for the situation with the growth of illegal migration. In this regard, he asked the EU for technical and diplomatic assistance through the Frontex Border Guard Service.

Nauseda also expressed the hope that the European Union would continue the sanction pressure on Lukashenka’s regime and support the democratic community of Belarus.

Since the beginning of 2021, Lithuanian border guards have detained 15 times more illegal immigrants on the border with Belarus than in 2020. As of July 5, Lithuanian border guards reported that they had detained 134 migrants in one day, 416 in four days, and 1,232 since the beginning of the year. Most of the detainees were Iraqi citizens who were going to enter Western Europe via Belarus and Lithuania.

Meanwhile, the pro-governmental Belarusian Union of Journalists says that “by the end of the month, the figure will be more than 5 thousand,” and that “if the so-called Polish corridor is also opened, the number of refugees can be easily multiplied by three.”

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Charles Michel answered the following question to Belsat:

“We have discussed this critical issue several times. Infrastructure security is essential. A few months ago, the European Council decided to create a special commission to ensure that electricity imported via such cross-border infrastructure complies with EU norms and regulations. We will monitor the situation, and we will look at it very closely. And I’m sure we will definitely talk to President Nauseda about it again.”

Ihar Kuley,