It is Russians who organized the latest influx of illegal migrants to Lithuania to destabilize the European Union in order to influence the bloc’s decisions.
That’s according to an opinion voiced by former Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine (2017-2019) Dmytro Zolotukhin, who spoke at an international round table “Attack of migrants. New forms of hybrid aggression," hosted by Ukrinform on Tuesday.
The expert pointed out that migrants are being trafficked to the EU borders rather unnaturally.
"In order for people from the Middle East to get to the European countries, it was necessary to set up logistical corridors, provide transportation means, ensure paperwork support and backup by law enforcement, security, or defense agencies. Considering that it’s impossible to get from Iraq to the Belarus-Lithuania border without crossing Russian territory, this appears to be a controlled effort, a deliberate act aimed to create a lever over decision-makers in Brussels," said Zolotukhin.
In his opinion, the Russian factor is being neglected in the West, while a new round of sanctions against the Lukashenko regime will lead to nothing.
"Brussels, Berlin, Paris, and Washington stubbornly refuse to state the fact that the main beneficiaries of the Belarusian issue, which results in this hybrid confrontation, are the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. And it makes no sense to put pressure on Alexander Lukashenko and impose additional sanctions if the main beneficiary remains with his cards on him as a player who is exerting pressure on the European Union and the United States,” the expert stressed.
He believes that the crisis will further deepen if the West ignores Russia's role in the so-called migrant crisis in Lithuania.
"Ignoring the problem by leading EU members will have even greater implications for both Lithuania and official Brussels, as the center of the European Union, as well as Germany and France, which are leaders in implementing decisions," Zolotukhin said.
During the round table, it was noted that in recent weeks, Lithuania has been a target of a hybrid attack by Russian and Belarusian special services. Every night, hundreds of illegal migrants purposefully sent from Belarus try to cross the Lithuanian border. Minsk is increasing the number of flights from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries, allowing for the mass arrival of potential migrants. The Lithuanian government has declared emergency and accused Belarusian authorities of hybrid aggression against Europe.
At the same time, a psy-op to destabilize the socio-political situation is being run in Lithuania. Kremlin-linked political forces and media accuse the government of failing to contain the crisis and call for concessions to the Lukashenko regime.