03 July 2021
The Lithuanian government claims that the Belarussian authorities are weaponising migration in response to EU sanctions placed on Belarus.
"Lithuania Reports 116 More Border Arrests Of Migrants Crossing From Belarus
Lithuanian authorities reported 116 more arrests of migrants crossing the border from Belarus, a surge in crossings that Lithuania says Minsk is purposely organizing in retaliation for European Union sanctions.
The Lithuanian State Border Security Service said on July 3 that border guards also fired tear gas and warning shots as one group of migrants were being detained.
The latest figures bring the number of migrants detained over the past two days to 179, the service said; in all 938 people have been arrested crossing from Belarus this year, 12 times as many in all of last year.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said late on July 2 that the government had declared a state of emergency, and he accused Lukashenka seeking "to weaponize migration to weaken our resolve for sanctions."
Vilnius contends that the migrants, most of whom are Iraqi, are moved to the border with Lithuania, where Belarusian border guards turn a blind eye as they cross into the European Union member state."
Source: Radio Free Europe, 3 July 2021
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