In July alone, Lithuania registered more than 2,000 illegal border crossings at the border with Belarus. It is not the migrants who are the problem, says EU Home Affairs Commissioner Johansson. But rulers Lukashenko.
Vilnius (dpa) – The EU has made serious allegations against Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko over the sharp rise in the number of migrants at Lithuania’s external border.
What the EU is dealing with is not primarily a migration crisis, but an “act of aggression” by the Lukashenko regime, said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson on Monday on the sidelines of talks in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. Such provocation is “absolutely unacceptable”.
In July alone, more than 2,000 illegal border crossings were recorded by people from countries such as Iraq or African states on the nearly 680 km-long border between the Baltic EU country and Belarus. In the entire past year there were 81.
According to the knowledge of the EU, the situation was deliberately caused by the government of the neighboring country. In the past, Lukashenko had openly threatened to let people through from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria in response to EU sanctions imposed on his country.
In order to reduce the number of illegal border crossings, the EU wants to increase its support to Lithuania again. More than 100 border guards from the EU border security agency Frontex will soon be in the country, Johansson said in a press conference with Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte on Monday. In addition, according to her information, additional financial support is being looked at.