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Ingrida Šimonytė and Ursula von der Leyen discuss situation at the EU-Belarus border

Date

2021 11 08

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Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has had a phone call with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on the situation at the border between the European Union and Belarus and the attack against the EU carried out by Belarus.

During the conversation, Prime Minister Šimonytė has emphasised that the Lukashenko regime and force structures had purposefully ‘cleansed’ Minsk of the potential illegal migrants who had arrived in the capital of Belarus and had directed them towards Poland, the EU-Belarus border.

‘What Belarusian force structures do, is a crime against humanity. The European Union must demand that Belarus cooperate with the UN and international organisations, and allow the governments of the countries of origin to return their citizens to their countries of origin. First of all, to Iraq. These people have not only been instrumentalised but have also fell hostage,’ said Šimonytė.

According to the Prime Minister, the European Commission and the UN should assist Iraq in carrying out a humanitarian operation through repatriation flights from Belarus.

Šimonytė has also stressed that the EU must speed up sanctioning of participants in the illegal migrant smuggling scheme created by the Lukashenko regime – individuals, tourism companies, airlines, Belarus airport authorities, and the ground handling services company. ‘All of them are part of the scheme,’ said the Lithuanian Prime Minister.

Later on, the Lithuanian Prime Minister has also discussed the situation on the EU-Belarus border and joint actions with the Heads of Government of Poland and Latvia.