Cabinet declares state of emergency on July 2 in connection with migration crisis
Organisers of illegal migration are instructing migrants from Asian and African countries before they enter Lithuania from neighbouring Belarus. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anušauskas made the statement as follows on the air of the national radio LRT on Tuesday.
“They [illegal migrants] themselves say that people in camouflage instruct them how to destroy documents, how to behave during the interview, what to say, what not to mention”, – he said.
According to the minister, Lithuania knows some of the organizers of illegal migration.
“We know some of the organizers and performers, companies and organizations that are involved and enjoy the patronage of the Belarusian authorities”, – said Anušauskas.
According to the head of the Defense Ministry, the wave of migration to Lithuania, allegedly triggered by the Belarusian authorities, is Minsk’s response to the EU sanctions. “This is an asymmetrical response of the Belarusian regime, which cannot use symmetrical responses,” he said.
Since the beginning of the year, 1,732 illegal immigrants mainly from Asian countries have been detained on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, 21.4 times more than in the entire year 2020. On 2 July, the Lithuanian Cabinet of Ministers declared an emergency situation in the country due to the migration crisis.
In late May, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his country had been a barrier to trafficking drugs and illegal migrants to a neighbouring state, but with political pressure from the West, Minsk may wonder whether to continue doing so.