The reception capacity is about to explode, xenophobia is on the rise, and every day more and more migrants cross the border.
A state of crisis has been declared in Lithuania, and the country is now asking for help from Europe.
Because refugees do not come alone. According to the Lithuanian authorities, it is the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko who transports them from Baghdad to Minsk, who makes sure that they reach the neighboring country.
“Belarusian soldiers are helping us and showing us the way to go,” Ali, a refugee from Iraq, told The Associated Press.
– There is a hybrid war against Lithuania now. They use illegal immigrants against us. This is a very serious matter, Interior Minister Agni Belutait told Reuters news agency.
Hybrid warfare is characterized by the use of non-military means to influence the politics and social order of another country.
So far this summer, 3,200 immigrants have entered Lithuania. That’s a lot for a small country of just 2.8 million people.
Today, the European Union’s border control agency Frontex has sent 60 officials, two helicopters and several special vehicles to Lithuania to provide assistance.
Here at home, too, the authorities are monitoring the situation closely.
– We take the situation very seriously and are following it closely, as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jens Frolich Holte told TV 2. He believes that what Belarus is doing now is unacceptable.
– It is hard to understand other than that the flow of migrants across the border is a political game, in which Belarus uses vulnerable people for its own gain.
Frølich Holte recalls that the Belarusian authorities promised to take countermeasures after the European Union and Norway imposed sanctions against the country before the summer.
It’s hard to read this as anything other than a response to our legitimate sanctions.
Sanctions came after Lukashenko Passenger plane forced From Ryanair to landing in Minsk in May this year. The motive was the slap of an annoying journalist based in Lithuania.
In Vilnius, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikanovskaya, also has her whereabouts, which Lukashenko clearly hates.
“It is clear that this is revenge against the Lukashenko regime, which is targeting Lithuania and the European Union, because they support civil society in Belarus,” Tikanovskaya told the Associated Press.
state human trafficking
On Friday, TV 2 spoke with several refugees being held in camps at the border.
They say they paid a lot for what was promised would be a safe and secure way to Europe.
A martyr from northern Iraq says the trip cost him about $10,000, of which $2,000 went directly to the Belarusian authorities. Now he feels cheated.
– We’re miserable here. Most of my friends were confined to the camps. He tells TV 2 that it wasn’t what we thought Europe should be.
He will defend the outer borders
The situation in Lithuania reminds us What happened in Storskog, in the fall of 2015. At that time, it was Russia that suddenly opened the locks, and more than 5,000 immigrants got out on bikes with courses in Norway.
Here, too, many eyewitnesses spoke of Russian border guards who actively helped migrants cross the border into Europe.
The Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is keen to draw clear parallels between Storskog and what is happening in Lithuania today.
However, it is clear that Norway is ready to help if Lithuania requests specific assistance. The Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergency Planning informs TV 2 that it has already prepared several thousand mattresses and bunk beds that can be sent to Lithuania at short notice.
We will consider requests for assistance when they arrive, but Norway is ready to defend our common external border. The Schengen border is the entire European border, Frølich Holte tells TV 2.
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