Poland and Lithuania have expressed dissatisfaction over the surge in migrants crossing their borders from Belarus.
The two Eastern EU neighbours called on European institutions to help them deal with the
growing numbers of migrants coming from Belarus.
According to Polish authorities, one hundred thirty-three people were stopped at the
Belarusian border with Poland over the past two days.
Poland accused Belarus of sending a growing number of migrants over the border in
retaliation for Warsaw’s decision this week to give refuge to Krystina Tsimanouskaya, a
Belarusian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics.
For its part, Lithuania has also reported a surge in border crossings from Belarus in recent weeks.
“We condemn the weaponisation of irregular migration by the Lukashenko regime to exert
political pressure on the EU and its Member States,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz
Morawiecki and Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said in a joint statement.
But Poland and Lithuania appealed to the European Commission, Frontex, the European
Asylum Support Office (EASO), other EU member states, and partners outside the EU for
political and practical support. They called to strengthen EU migration and asylum policy.
“We firmly believe that the protection of external Schengen borders is not just the duty of
individual member states but also the common responsibility of the EU,” the statement says.
Belarus Under Spotlight
The Belarusian government has yet to comment on the incident.
However, the incident has again spotlighted Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko
has ruled since 1994.
Last year, nationwide protests over his disputed re-election were violently repressed by the security forces.
The Belarusian authorities violently suppressed the angry protests.