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Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: EU's maximum involvement in destroying illegal migration routes via Turkey and Iraq is needed

Created: 2021.07.24 / Updated: 2021.07.25 10:12

In the evening of 23 July, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis informed the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell about the latest provocations by Belarus against the EU and Lithuania.

“The whole of Europe is interested in having an illegal migration route, which has been created by the Belarusian regime, destroyed. Lithuania is working intensively, but the maximum effort of the EU institutions is also needed in talks with the governments of the countries of origin of irregular migrants, both in Africa and in the Middle East,” said Landsbergis.

According to the Foreign Minister, Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, which has undermined human rights long ago and continues to destroy civil society in Belarus, has now made further progress in using also irregular migrants — families, women, and children — for its own purposes.

“Lithuania has done its homework: arrested, accommodated and prevented the further movement of irregular migrants, changed legislation, shortened the asylum procedure, strengthened border controls, and conducted negotiations with Iraq and Turkey. We are now preparing for the return of migrants to their countries of origin, but greater involvement of the EU institutions is needed at this stage,” said the head of Lithuania's diplomacy.

 Landsbergis and Borrell also discussed Russia’s preparations for the Zapad 2021 military exercises in the EU neighbourhood and their impact on the overall security situation in the region.

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