Lithuanian Foreign Minister Accuses Minsk Of 'Weaponizing' Illegal Migration

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Accuses Minsk of 'Weaponizing' Illegal Migration

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 15th June, 2021) Belarus is allegedly using illegal migrants from Syria and Iraq against Lithuania as a way to get back at Vilnius for antagonizing Minsk, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has said.

According to the minister, Belarus' state-run tourism agency Tsentrkurort supposedly provides package deals to migrants, which include flights from Istanbul or Baghdad and travel to the Lithuanian border. The official alleges that 1,000 Iraqis and Syrians are in Minsk right now.

"This is weaponised migration that is directly aimed at Lithuania. The reason? It's quite easy to guess. We are outspoken, we shelter the main opposition leaders [from Belarus]," Landsbergis told Financial Times, claiming that Minsk engaged in a "hybrid attack against Europe.


The Belarusian Foreign Ministry and Tsentrkurort have refused the newspaper's request for comment.

Lithuanian has been a vocal supporter of the Belarusian opposition and recognized opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as the legitimate president of Belarus, turning down the extradition request by the Belarusian Investigative Committee.

The August 9 presidential election in Belarus, won by incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko, was contested by opposition.