Lukashenko's revenge: Lithuanians are about to start shooting at illegal migrants

Lukashenko's revenge: Lithuanians are about to start shooting at illegal migrants
Lukashenko's revenge: Lithuanians are about to start shooting at illegal migrants
4 August 2021, 10:28Politics
The Lithuanian State Border Guard Service has found a way out of the crisis situation on the border with Belarus - illegal migrants will be returned to Lukashenko or sent home. In case of disobedience, use force.

Gennady Charodeyev

More and more migrants from Africa and the Middle East are illegally crossing the Lithuanian border from the territory of Belarus. For a small EU country, this becomes a real test

“In order to prevent entry into the territory of Lithuania, persons illegally crossing the border outside the checkpoints will be directed to the nearest operating international checkpoint or diplomatic mission", - the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Lithuania said.

They also believe that the officials of the republic “will be able to apply all legal and adequate measures for this. Border guards have the right not to let illegal immigrants cross the border and expel them from the territory of Lithuania".

And then it began. Lithuanian border guards during the night from Monday to Tuesday, threatening with weapons, deployed dozens of people who tried to get into Lithuania from the territory of Belarus, not allowing them to cross the border. No one was arrested, but they were warned that those who deliberately try to cross the border line in prohibited areas would be considered criminals. In case of further attempts to enter Lithuania, the border guards may use force.

At the same time, the Lithuanian authorities emphasize that they do not question the right of illegal migrants to apply for asylum.

Belarusian journalists contacted by "Novye Izvestia" by phone confirmed that all the harsh statements of the Lithuanian side followed after reports of an increase in the number of flights from Baghdad to Minsk. Moreover, all tickets were sold a month in advance. The Lithuanian border service has already expelled several dozen illegal migrants from Shvenchensky, Shalchininksky and Ignalina districts to Belarus. What happened to them is not known.

According to the official Vilnius, more than 4,000 illegal migrants have been detained at the Lithuanian-Belarusian border since the beginning of the year. This is almost 50 times more than in the entire 2020.

The Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte said that the country's government is considering the possibility of addressing its neighbors in the European Union with a request to accommodate illegal immigrants. For some reason, the prime minister is sure that everyone will do this if the situation is difficult to manage.

“This is a provocation of Lukashenka’s regime, and we must show that there is no free access to the EU territory", - said Ilva Johansson, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, who arrived in Vilnius to get acquainted with the situation at the border. - Lithuania and the EU must block illegal access to the Schengen area. That is why we support Lithuania".

Meanwhile, almost every day, all Lithuanian newspapers quote the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, who said in May that his country “served as a barrier to the transfer of illegal migrants to a neighboring state, however, given the political pressure of the West and the imposition of sanctions, Minsk may wonder whether it is worth continuing do it".

The Lithuanian authorities claim that they have caught the Belarusian border guards in helping illegal migrants seeking to the Baltic republic. According to the Delfi agency, recently the employees of the European Union for the Security of External Borders (Frontex), who help Lithuanian border guards to patrol the border in the Šalčininki region by helicopter, recorded and filmed a group of illegal immigrants accompanied by a departmental car. In their opinion, vehicles of this type are usually used by Belarusian border guards. A protest is filed. But Lukashenko took water into his mouth ...

Nevertheless, temporary accommodation centers for refugees have been created in Lithuania. The position of the local authorities is such that people arrived in Lithuania from Belarus, where they were not in danger, and, therefore, they do not have the right to asylum in Lithuania. So far, however, the asylum cases of people who have arrived in recent months are pending: there have been no refusals or granted applications.

Nikolay Mezhevich, head of the Center for Belarusian Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noted in his comment to Novye Izvestia that a way out of the crisis should be sought as soon as possible. Apparently, the last thing the Lithuanians will do is turn to Moscow for help. There are no prospects here and they do not see us as a mediator.

"I think that this role is absolutely not interesting for Russia either, - the expert noted. - As for the European Union, this issue is really very important for Lithuania. Let me remind you that the EU is responsible for emergencies that arise at the borders of the member states of the community. For this there is the newly created agency Frontex".

Lithuanians cannot understand in any way that for Europe, the arrival of only a few hundred migrants on the territory of the country is not serious. Europeans remember very well what happened three or four years ago, when the notorious migration crisis broke out in them. Then hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants literally stormed the borders of the European Union. Against this background, the “microscopic” problem of Lithuania, from their point of view, cannot be regarded as a common European one. Indeed, over the course of many years, the Lithuanians have shifted the security of their state border to Belarus.

"To a large extent, it suited everyone. But only until that moment Lithuania recognized the office of Mrs. Tikhanovskaya as the official representation of Minsk. Well, if she represents the Belarusian state, then let her solve migration problems. But the leaders of Lithuania on this issue are worried about Lukashenko. Official Vilnius, instead of negotiating, began to threaten Belarus on behalf of the European Union. This, as you know, did not lead to anything", - said Nikolay Mezhevich.

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