Lithuania expects strong EU response to border situation, Nauseda tells Michel

  • 2021-11-09
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The worsening situation at the EU's external border amid the massing of migrants seeking to cross into the bloc from Belarus requires an urgent response from the EU, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday. 

"Unprecedented situation at #EU external border w/Belarus requires urgent response," Nauseda tweeted after his phone call with Michel. 

"During a conversation with @eucopresident I called the #EU to speed up #migration & #asylum policy changes, support construction of physical barrier & widen sanctions against #Belarus regime."

Nauseda's office quoted him saying in a press release that "what is happening on Poland's border with Belarus is a problem not only for Poland – it is a matter for the EU as a whole."

Among other things, the Lithuanian president asked Michel to put migration on the agenda of the European Council's meeting in December. 

Tensions on the EU's border with Belarus began to escalate on Monday as several thousand migrants attempted to force their way across the border, but were repelled by Polish troops. 

In response to the situation, the Lithuanian parliament is expected to declare a state of emergency at the country's border with Belarus. 

Over 4,200 irregular migrants have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year, and another 6,000 have been turned away after border guards started pushing them back to the neighboring country in August.

Vilnius accuses the Minsk regime of orchestrating the unprecedented migration influx, calling it "hybrid aggression".