The situation with the influx of illegal migrants to Lithuania from Belarus cannot be called a stalemate, but it is necessary to conduct a dialogue, including with Russia, to resolve this problem. Estonian MEP Yana Toom told Izvestia about this on Thursday, July 29.
“We need to talk somehow, that’s understandable. But it is obvious that Lithuania will not talk, because Europe, as you know, at the suggestion of Lithuania, among other things, does not recognize the legitimacy [президента Белоруссии Александра] Lukashenko. And so now, in order to save face, they cannot agree to any negotiations. The situation is rather sad, ”she said.
According to the MEP, in an amicable way, it is necessary to conduct a dialogue with Russia, however, the attitude towards conversations with the Russian Federation in the West is also ambivalent. As an example, Toom cited statements by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, who advocated dialogue with Russia, but this initiative was not supported.
“I think that it is still necessary to talk with Russia, because everyone understands that there is influence on Lukashenka in the Kremlin. And in a strange way, Lukashenka, organizing all these wonderful actions, is actually playing into the hands of those forces in Europe that would like to have a dialogue with Russia, ”the EP deputy noted.
In addition, assessing the very situation with illegal migrants, Toom emphasized that it cannot be called a stalemate, urging to look at the volume of migration at present and compare it with what was in Europe in 2016.
Earlier that day, the speaker of the Lithuanian Seim (Parliament) Viktoria Chmilyte-Nielsen said that direct negotiations with Belarus regarding the migration crisis would be a mistake and a deviation from the principles of Lithuania.
On July 27, Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anushauskas announced that the country’s army was ready to set up checkpoints with armored vehicles near the camps of illegal migrants who arrived in the republic from the territory of Belarus. Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite, in turn, said that the department proposed to the government to introduce a state of emergency in the areas bordering Belarus in connection with the influx of illegal migrants from Asia.
On July 26, Estonia allocated the first 50 km of barbed wire to Lithuania, a total of 100 km will be transferred.
On July 12, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the Council of the European Union is ready to consider the introduction of new sanctions against Minsk in response to an increase in the flow of migrants through Belarus to Lithuania.
As noted by Vilnius, this is a 22-fold increase in the flow. In addition, a group of deputies of the Lithuanian Seimas came up with a proposal to consider illegal migration from Asia through the territory of Belarus to be a hybrid aggression. Earlier, Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis called migrants “a new hybrid weapon of the Belarusian regime”.
In early July, the Lithuanian authorities announced an extreme situation at the state level.
It is also known that the EU external border control agency Frontex will send helicopters to Lithuania to monitor the border with Belarus from the air. In addition, it was reported that additional armed patrols, translators, and personnel working with migrants were sent to the republic.