EU's Sassoly Vexed By Massive Influx Of Undocumented Migrants At Belarus-Lithuania Border


EU's Sassoly Vexed by Massive Influx of Undocumented Migrants at Belarus-Lithuania Border

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 02nd July, 2021) European Parliament President David Sassoli expressed on Friday concerns about the massive influx of undocumented migrants to Lithuania from Belarus in recent months, calling for a common asylum and migration system to handle the crisis.

Lithuania has become a new "eastern frontline" for irregular migration, with over 600 migrants from Belarus having illegally crossed the border since early 2021, which is nearly eight times what it was in 2020. Vilnius has accused Minsk of facilitating the illegal migration instead of collaborating on the matter an allegation denied by the Belarusian authorities.

"I am following with concern the influx of migrants at the Belarus-Lithuania border. Once again someone is unacceptably playing with people's lives. It's clear that across Europe, be it in the South or East, we need a common asylum and migration system to respond to the crisis," Sassoli tweeted.

The reaction follows recent threat by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to stop cooperation on stemming illegal migration and organized crime in response to new EU economic sanctions.

Last week, the European Union introduced new sanctions against Belarus over the Ryanair incident when the Irish airlines' plane flying from Athens to Vilnius made an emergency landing in Minsk in May over a bomb threat flagged by the Belarusian authorities that turned out to be false. The stopover resulted in the arrest of one of the passengers, Belarusian opposition activist Roman Protasevich, whose Telegram channel Nexta is believed to have played a crucial part during last year's post-election unrest in Belarus and has been designated as extremist by Minsk.