“We strongly condemn Belarusian dictator Lukashenko’s attempts to intimidate the European Union. By sending hundreds of illegal migrants to Europe’s external border in Lithuania, Lukashenko is de facto playing by the worst of the smugglers’ and the human traffickers’ book, proving once again that there are absolutely no limits to his political cynicism”, said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
“We stand in solidarity with Lithuania and need to support our Lithuanian friends with all possible means. Aggression against Lithuania is aggression against the European Union as a whole and we will not tolerate this”, Weber said.
“The hundreds of illegal migrants who are entering Lithuania from Belarus every day are the product of Lukashenko’s special operation: they are flown into Minsk from Baghdad and Istanbul by regular airlines under the artificial pretext of tourism and then brought to the border of Lithuania. This is yet another example of the Lukashenko regime's aggressive behaviour towards Lithuania and the EU, when civilians are being used for the purpose of hybrid war. This is Lukashenko's revenge against Lithuania for supporting the people of Belarus, who are fighting for freedom and democracy”, said Andrius Kubilius MEP, Head of the Lithuanian Delegation of the EPP Group.
“But Lithuania will not stop its support for a democratic Belarus, quite the contrary. The EU also needs to send a clear message to the Kremlin authorities that the continuation of Kremlin support for the illegitimate Lukashenko regime also makes the Kremlin responsible for the international crimes of the Lukashenko regime", Kubilius said.
“We fully support the manpower that FRONTEX is mobilising to protect the EU border with Belarus", said Jeroen Lenaers MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. "Additionally, no diplomatic efforts should be spared to make it clear to the Iraqi and Turkish Governments that they are currently being made complicit in a destabilisation attempt and an attack against the EU. A temporary ban on commercial flights from Baghdad and Istanbul to Minsk should be introduced without delay.”
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 177 Members from all EU Member States