The Lithuanian government urged the country’s parliament to convene an extraordinary parliamentary session in connection with the situation on the border with Belarus, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said on Wednesday.
“We see the whole process as hybrid aggression targeted against not Lithuania but the entire European Union. And it is based on the principled stance of the entire EU, including Lithuania, on the results of rigged elections, repressions against the civil society and human rights activists,” Lithuanian media outlet Delfi quotes the politician.
According to Šimonytė, the Belarusian regime may be participating in the organisation of flows of illegal migrants ‘both actively and passively’.
“<They> are intentionally creating all the conditions for [migrants’] crossing the border. behind all this, we see their goal to do harm our to country, maybe, to destabilise the situation; this situation is becoming especially difficult due to the Zapad military drills which will be held in summer and autumn,” she said.
The country is going to install an ‘additional physical barrier’ dividing Lithuania and Belarus; moreover, the military are being mobilised to beef up its border force and handle the situation, Prime Minister added.
As reported earlier, in response to Western sanctions imposed on the regime, Alyaksandr Lukashenka threatened to loosen control over the flow of migrants and banned substances (even nuclear materials) at the border with the European Union.
This year, over 1,400 illegals have entered Lithuania from the territory of Belarus. This figure is 17 times higher than it was during the entire year of 2020. When the threat took a definite shape, Lithuania’s Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė appealed to the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office, drawing the agency’s attention to the illegal movement of people across the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.
“Migrants from third countries have been crossing the border illegally for several weeks, and we do see the signs indicating that this might be done in an organised way,” she said.
Belarus delivers Syrians and Iraqis from Istanbul and Baghdad to its territory using the national tour operator Tsentrkurort, then so-called ‘tourists’ are taken to the border from Minsk, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis suggests.
In late June, the European Union announced sending 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. This week, Lithuanian MEP Petras Auštrevičius has said on the air of Current Time that the country plans to bill Lukashenka for transferring illegals. According to him, this issue will be discussed at a session of the European Parliament.