VILNIUS – The speaker of the Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian and Polish parliaments on Tuesday issued a joint statement condemning the Minsk regime over its use of migrants for political goals.
"We strongly condemn the continued state-sponsored instrumentalization of irregular migration artificially created by the Belarusian regime as part of hybrid operations against Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and the EU for political purposes," the statement reads.
"We call upon the international community, especially the countries of transit and origin, to strongly oppose these actions, to take the necessary steps. (…) We condemn the actions of the illegitimate Lukashenko regime which result in preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid offered by neighboring countries to migrants," the parliamentary speakers said.
According to the statement, the Lukashenko regime's aggressive action is proving the crisis at the external borders of the EU, threatening the security of the entire region and deliberately endangering the lives of vulnerable people.
The parliament speakers also called for the prompt implementation of the agreed new package of sanctions, targeting persons and entities involved in and contributing to activities of the Lukashenko regime and aimed at facilitating illegal crossing of the external borders of the EU.
"We underline that the responsibility for normalizing the situation at the border rests squarely with the illegitimate regime of Alexander Lukashenko, while the EU and its member states should continue to be guided by the joint decisions and political stance adopted by the European Council and the Foreign Affairs Council," the statement reads.
Over 4,200 irregular migrants have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year.
A total of 7,332 people have been turned away since early August, when border guards were given the right not to allow in foreign nationals attempting to enter Lithuania at non-designated places.
Lithuania and Western countries accuse the Minsk regime of orchestrating the unprecedented migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression".
Lithuania last week declared a one-month state of emergency on its frontier with Belarus after thousands of migrants gathered on the Belarus side of the border with Poland and made attempts to force their way into the EU.