EU27 Steps Up Against Belarus Border AggressionReading Time: < 1 minutes
The Belarusian government is trying to “instrumentalize human beings for political purposes,” interior ministers of the European Union warned in a joint statement after a video meeting on Wednesday. The emergency meeting requested by Lithuania was scheduled after the government there published a video of 12 Belarusian police officers armed in riot gear pushing some 35 migrants across the border. Lithuania added that the Belarusian police officers themselves also briefly crossed the border into Lithuania during the violence. Poland and Latvia reported similar incidents.
“This aggressive behavior … is unacceptable and amounts to a direct attack aimed at destabilizing and pressurizing the EU,” writes the EU interior ministers’ statement.
According to Polish authorities, in August alone 2,100 people tried to enter Poland irregularly compared to 122 interceptions in all of 2020. Moreover, according to reporting by the Polish media about 50 refugees are currently living in a camp in no-man’s land between Belarus and Poland. In a related move, Lithuania has begun construction of a EUR 500 million razor-wire fence along its Belarusian border, while Poland has sent about 1000 soldiers to defend its common border.