EU Agency To Help Monitor Lithuanian Border Amid Surge In Migrants From Belarus.

The European Union's border agency says it will deploy 60 guards next week to monitor Lithuania's frontier amid an influx of migrants crossing illegally from Belarus, a move seen as revenge by Minsk after the bloc imposed a new round of sanctions on Alyaksandr Lukashenka's repressive regime.

Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, on a trip to Vilnius amid a flood of migrant crossings unleashed by Lukashenka in recent months, said on July 19 that the EU was "facing something that is unprecedented."

"It's the first time in history that Frontex has to deploy such an operation in this region of the European Union," Leggeri said.

Almost illegal 2,100 migrants have entered Lithuania from Belarus this year, including 1,400 this month alone, the Lithuanian border guard service has said.

Lukashenka has repeatedly threatened to allow migrants to cross into the EU in response to sanctions imposed on Minsk following a disputed presidential election last year and a subsequent crackdown on those protesting the strongman's claim that he won reelection by a landslide.

Lithuania, which has a nearly 680-kilometer border with Belarus, has been particularly hard hit. It accuses Belarus of deliberately allowing migrants -- a large number of whom are from Iraq -- across its borders.

Vilnius has even accused Minsk of flying in migrants from abroad to send illegally into the EU.

The Frontex deployment, which was requested by Lithuania, is the agency's first since it began policing Greece's land border with Turkey in March 2020.

The Frontex mission, which will last until October 6, will employ some 30 vehicles and two helicopters, along with staff to screen and interview migrants.
Lithuania is also building a 550-kilometer razor-wire barrier on the border, but construction has stalled because of a shortage of razor wire.

EU members Slovenia and Denmark will supply razor wire "as fast as possible," in addition to what Vilnius can procure on its own, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa

Radio Free Europe

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 22 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established, including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Russia.

https://www.rferl.org/

Related news

Belarusian politics and the tyranny of simple solutions.

Connecting these events and/or finding their proper place in the overall political situation depends on one’s perspective. One can take a cue from the mortal-autocracy-democracy-combat perspective embraced, among others, by David Kramer, a former ...

Euromaidan Press

Covid-19 UK: Govt 'increasingly confident' more countries will move to green travel lists.

Covid-19 UK: Govt 'increasingly confident' more countries will move to green travel lists.

Coronavirus latest: MORE countries will go onto the green list next week as Britain is set to open up to other "high trust" foreigners, according to the Foreign Secretary. Dominic Raab said he was "increasingly positive" that more countries would ...

Sick migrants cross southern border exhibiting COVID symptoms.

Sick migrants cross southern border exhibiting COVID symptoms.

Fox News contributor Sara Carter joins 'Hannity' with the latest on the border crisis  #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news servi...

1 428

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles thanks 'outpouring of love & support' after pulling out.

Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles thanks 'outpouring of love & support' after pulling out.

America's superstar gymnast Simone Biles has thanked supporters after pulling out of two events at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health. SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more videos: Follow us on Twitter: Like us on Facebook: Follo...

Left remains silent on prominent Democrat donor's criminal conviction.

Left remains silent on prominent Democrat donor's criminal conviction.

Ed Buck was convicted in overdose deaths of two black men; Organizer of protests in Ed Buck's case Jasmyne Cannick reacts on 'Fox News Primetime.' #FoxNews #FoxNewsPrimetime Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel ...

Dozens still missing in Germany two weeks after floods - DW News.

Dozens still missing in Germany two weeks after floods - DW News.

Two weeks after the devastating floods in western Germany, the disaster is far from over. People are only slowly working their way through dealing with what the flood has left behind: bulks of mud and piles of rubbish. Dozens of people are still m...

Moment jewel thief swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con

Moment jewel thief swaps £4.2m of diamonds for pebbles in Ocean’s Eleven con

THIS is the moment a 60-year-old jewel thief swapped diamonds worth £4.2million for PEBBLES in an Ocean's Eleven-style con - before blaming her dead sister for the heist. Lulu Lakatos, 60, who has now been convicted of the biggest jewellery shop c...