Lithuanian, Polish MPs call on Belarus to stop human smuggling

  • 2021-10-21
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian and Polish parliamentarians on Wednesday condemned the Belarusian regime's instrumentalization of irregular migrants to destabilize the situation in the EU's border countries and called on Minsk to stop human smuggling.

In a joint statement, members of the Assembly of the Lithuanian Seimas and the Polish Sejm and Senate condemned the Belarusian regime's efforts to destabilize the situation in Lithuania, Poland and Latvia by using illegal migration as a tool for its political purposes and denounced the pushing of migrants from Belarus across the EU's external border.

The parliamentarians called on the Minsk regime to refuse visas to third-country nationals when this is not in line with the real purpose of their departure from their country, to take full responsibility for third-country nationals on its territory and to put an end to the smuggling of these persons.

They called on the Alexander Lukashenko regime to comply with its international commitments, including the EU-Belarusian agreement on the readmission of persons residing without authorization.

The Lithuanian and Polish MPs believe that international organizations must investigate human rights violations committed against migrants on Belarusian territory.

They called on the European Commission and EU member states to adapt the bloc's legislation to the new realities as swiftly as possible to ensure the protection of the EU's external borders, and prevent illegal border crossings and the abuse of the asylum system by undemocratic regimes.

EU institutions and member states are asked to increase international pressure on the Belarusian regime "through political, economic and individual sanctions against all those responsible for using a hybrid attack against EU Member States and smuggling of irregular migrants to achieve the Belarusian regime's political objectives".

On Wednesday, the Assembly held in Vilnius its first non-remote session since September 2019.