VILNIUS – It’s too early to lift the existing extreme situation near the Belarusian border, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte says, also pointing out to Russia's ongoing military buildup in Belarus.
"Compared to November, that situation has changed significantly, but it's no secret for anyone of that more general picture, which is developing, first of all, along Ukraine's border, but also in Belarus where quite substantial military forces are moving and have already entered," the prime minister told reporters on Friday at the Aleksandras Barauskas Frontier Station in Lithuania's southern district of Varena.
"So I believe it's too early to lift that extreme situation near the border really," she added.
He comment came in response to a question of when Lithuanian could end its migrant push-back policy introduced in August. She said the push-back policy would be cancelled once the extreme situation is lifted.
The extreme situation was declared last summer in response to a spike of illegal migrants from the Belarusian side. Also, Lithuanian then introduced its push-back policy.
Even tighter regime, a state of emergency, was put in place in the middle of November but that was cancelled in the middle of January after the situation stabilized.