On Friday morning, the Lithuanian media outlet 15min.lt published a video of irregular migrants who were stuck in the neutral zone between Lithuania and Belarus.
Lithuanian border guards prevented them from entering the country; in turn, unknown uniformed people who were having shields and helmets, but no insignia tried to drive them away from the territory of Belarus.
One of the alleged Belarusian security officers pointed at the Lithuanian border and said: “Well, why are we standing still? Come on, go ahead! This way, go. Well, of course, it is there where you should go. Why aren’t you moving?”
According to information provided by the Lithuanian side, sometimes migrants have to spend hours stand between the border posts.
On the back of Lithuania’s decision to divert illegal migrants, Alyaksandr Lukashenka instructed corresponding services to beef up border protection and to prevent border violation cases’.
“From now on, not a single person shall enter the territory of Belarus from the adjacent states, whether from the south or from the west,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes him.
The total number of migrants illegally crossing the Belarusian-Lithuanian border in 2021 has exceeded 4,100, which is 50 times more than in the whole year of 2020. As reported earlier, in response to Western sanctions imposed on the regime, Lukashenka threatened to loosen control over the flow of migrants and banned substances (even nuclear materials) at the border with the European Union.
Lithuania accuses the Belarusian border guards of ignoring the trespassers and even assisting them in their illegal moving, calling the current situation ‘the hybrid aggression’. The European Union sent employees of the EU Agency for External Border Security (Frontex) to Lithuania in order to strengthen the protection of the the EU-Belarus border from illegal migrants.
On August 3, Lithuania’s border service started to turn back illegal migrants entering the country from the territory of Belarus.