- Title: Lithuania wants sanctions on Belarus for helping migrants cross to EU
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: MEDININKAI, LITUHANIA (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DELEGATIONS OF FOREIGN AND INTERIOR MINISTERS OF AUSTRIA AND LITHUANIA STANDING NEAR LITHUANIA-BELARUS BORDER BORDER STONES OF BELARUS AND LITHUANIA AUSTRIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, KARL NEHAMMER (L) AND FOREIGN MINISTER, ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG (R) STANDING NEAR BORDER FENCE FENCE ON BORDER BELARUSIAN BORDER STONE TENTS AT TEMPORARY DETENTION CENTRE VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS STANDING IN FRONT OF TENT MIGRANTS AT BORDER GUARDS' PREMISES MIGRANT GIRL MIGRANT LAYING IN TENT (SOUNDBITE) (Lithuanian) LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, SAYING: "We must send a very clear signal not only to Belarus but to every dictator, who would use such an instrument (migration) against the European Union or any of its members, that not only will he fail, but he will also get a strong response." OFFICIALS VISITING BORDER GUARD STATION MINISTERS TALKING NEHAMMER LISTENING LANDSBERGIS AND SCHALLENBERG SMILING (SOUNDBITE) (German) AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, SAYING: "I believe the response should also include putting the people in charge of turning migration into a form of pressure with weapons - which won't work - onto a sanctions list." VARIOUS OF BORDER GUARD BRIEFING MINISTERS NEHAMMER LISTENING FENCE ON BORDER (SOUNDBITE) (Lithuanian) LITHUANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, AGNE BILOTAITE, SAYING: "In this case it is very important that we can rely on the EU for financial support in building the physical barrier." VARIOUS OF AUSTRIAN RESCUE SERVICE TRUCK DELIVERING CONTAINERS FOR MIGRANTS HOUSING OFFICIALS STANDING NEAR CONTAINERS LITHUANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER, AGNE BILOTAITE, LISTENING OFFICIALS STANDING NEAR CONTAINERS
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 14:39
- Keywords: Austria Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg Belarus Belarus-Lithuania border Lithuania migrants crossing from Belarus migration
- Location: MEDININKAI, LITUHANIA
- City: MEDININKAI, LITUHANIA
- Country: Belarus
- Topics: Europe,Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERN4KL5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Lithuania announced on Tuesday (August 24) that it proposed the European Union sanctions Belarusian citizens and companies which it says are helping migrants cross into EU member states.
Lithuania and neighbouring EU states Poland and Latvia have reported an increase in the number of migrants, many from Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to cross their borders from Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he would no longer hold back migrants after the EU imposed sanctions, following a disputed presidential election last year and his subsequent crackdown on protesters and dissidents.
"We must send a very clear signal not only to Belarus but to every dictator who would use such an instrument against the European Union or any of its members, that not only will he fail, but he will also get a strong response," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told a news conference in the border town of Medininkai.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg agreed, telling reporters that those behind the uptick in migration from Belarus should be added to a sanctions list.
According to Landsbergis, the Lithuanian government has already sent a list of Belarusian citizens and companies it holds responsible for the increased migrant arrivals to the EU's External Action Service.
The Lithuanian government said on Monday (August 23) it would finish building a 508 km (315 miles) razor-wire-topped fence on its border with Belarus by September 2022, at a cost of up to 152 million euros (178.6 million dollars).
The EU says Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is waging "hybrid warfare" with migrants to exert pressure on the bloc.
(Production: Janis Laizans, Michele Sani, Karolina Bohacova)
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