Lukashenko has repeatedly threatened the EU to let in refugees from war zones. Lithuania is particularly affected and is now responding to the deteriorating situation with a border fence.
Vilnius (dpa) – Lithuania has started construction of a barbed wire on the border with Belarus because of the sharp increase in the number of illegal immigrants.
According to a spokesman for the border guard, soldiers will erect the barrier at the spa town of Druskininkai near the border triangle with Belarus and Poland. The length of this part of the border is 30 kilometers, he said, according to the BNS agency in Vilnius.
Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko has repeatedly threatened the EU to let in refugees from war zones in response to sanctions against Minsk. Lithuania, which has a nearly 680 km-long border with Belarus, is particularly hard hit. According to official information, more than 1,500 people have already been arrested – 37 of them within 24 hours, the border guard announced Friday.
Lithuania wants to speed up testing procedures
Most refugees come from countries in the Middle East and Africa. Most of them have already applied for asylum in Lithuania. The government in Vilnius therefore wanted to make legislative changes to speed up the investigation process. The cabinet had previously declared a state of emergency in order to be able to respond more easily and quickly. Lithuanian President Gintanas Naueseda also convened the National Security Council of the Baltic EU and NATO country on Monday.
Polish border guards are currently picking up more migrants at the border with Belarus. This year, there have been 235 refugees so far this year, 90 of them since the beginning of July alone, a spokeswoman for the German news agency said. In all of 2020 there were 114.
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