Government Chancellor Giedrė Balčytytė: joint action sought with Turkey over illegal migration flows across Belarus-Lithuania border


2021 07 14

Turkija Lietuva shutterstock_275303258.jpg

On the evening of 13 July, Government Chancellor Giedrė Balčytytė visiting Turkey as part of the delegation led by Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, which also included Vice-Minister of the Interior Arnoldas Abramavičius, met with Turkey’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Minister for the Interior Süleyman Soylu in Ankara.  The main purpose of the visit to Ankara was to seek joint action against current illegal migration flows from Belarus to Lithuania with a view to preventing the emergence of a new illegal migration route to Lithuania via Belarus, and dismantling the existing criminal cross-border human smuggling schemes.

It was agreed to work together towards stemming the flow of illegal migration to Europe. Turkey is increasingly becoming a transit country for illegal migrants from the neighbouring regions. Turkey’s officials noted the readiness of relevant authorities to share their expertise and know-how with the Lithuanian counterparts on effective border management and identification of third-country nationals. It was agreed that a small delegation of experts would arrive in Turkey later in the week to discuss practical measures of cooperation.

The parties spoke at large about information exchange to expedite the identification of illegal migrants.

Government Chancellor Balčytytė will continue as part of the delegation led by Foreign Minister Landsbergis to Baghdad, where she intends to discuss how to stop Belarus’s weaponized illegal migration across EU’s eastern border.