Belarus’ stance on migration is referred to by Lithuania’s president as “revenge” for EU sanctions.
According to the Associated Press, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said Belarus’ assistance for what he calls unlawful migration is “a type of retaliation for EU sanctions.”
Because of the influx of Belarusian migrants, Lithuania has proclaimed a state of emergency. Lithuania began construction of a double barbed-wire fence along the Belarus border on Friday, which will span 342 miles and cover the majority of the 423-mile border, at a cost of $48 million, according to Lithuanian authorities. Tents have also been set up across the country to accommodate the increasing number of migrants.
Lithuania has spoken with the governments of the countries from which the migrants originate as well as transit nations in order to “curb the [illegal migration]process that the Belarusian regime supports,” according to Nauseda.
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Lithuania’s border agency has promised to “substantially” increase its support in the coming days “due to the mounting migratory strain at Lithuania’s border with Belarus” that the Baltic nation is attempting to contain.
Following a video chat between Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and Nauseda late Saturday, Frontex, the organization in charge of coordinating border control between EU member states and other countries, announced its decision.
In a statement, Leggeri said, “Lithuania’s frontier is our common external border, and Frontex stands ready to support whenever needed.” “We are prepared to increase our level of support and send more European standing corps officers and equipment” to Lithuania, a member of the EU and NATO with a population of 2.8 million people.
Frontex’s operation, which began with the deployment of a dozen officers and police cars earlier this month, will more than double next week, according to the agency.
Frontex reinforcements were anticipated to arrive in Lithuania by July 15, according to Nauseda’s office, and some armed border patrols and additional translators came over the weekend. In addition, a patrol helicopter from neighboring Poland will be dispatched to Lithuania, and talks are underway to transfer another helicopter from Germany, according to Nauseda’s office.
Nauseda commended Frontex for its assistance in “managing flows of illegal migrants through the eastern border” with Belarus, another former Soviet republic that is not a member of the EU, in a tweet.
Lithuania, to be precise. This is a condensed version of the information.