Asymmetric Warfare: EU Accuses Belarus of Attacking EU with Migrants

Migrants are seen through a fence as they stand and sit by tents in a camp near the border town of Kapciamiestis, Lithuania, on July 18, 2021. - Lithuania has seen more than 2,000 arrivals since the start of the year across the border from Belarus. Most of the migrants …
PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union has accused Belarus of attacking the bloc with Iraqi migrants by forcing them to cross the borders into Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

European leaders had accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of not only orchestrating and facilitating migrant flows, but of flying migrants directly from Iraq to Minsk and marching them to Belarus’s borders with European Union member-states, allegedly to blackmail the bloc which has clashed with the former Soviet territory since its disputed election.

Lithuania, a small Baltic nation of around 2.8 million, has seen 4,100 illegals cross from Belarus so far this year — more than 50 times that arrived in 2020. Earlier this month, Lithuania ordered its border guards to repel all attempts at illegal entry, with force if necessary.

The country’s border guard agency released footage alleging to show Belarusian riot police forcing migrants to cross the border into Lithuania, according to Sky News, with the current presidency of the Council of the European Union calling it “aggressive behaviour”.

The EU president continued that it is “unacceptable and amounts to a direct attack aimed at destabilising and pressurising the EU.

“The European Union will need to further consider its response to these situations in order to increase its effectiveness and to deter any future attempts to instrumentalise illegal migration in this manner.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime minister of fellow Baltic nation Estonia, Kaja Kallas, accused President Lukashenko further, asserting that what was happening on the border was “no refugee crisis”, but “a hybrid attack on the European Union”.

It would not be the first time that a nation on lukewarm terms with the EU abused migrant flows to put pressure on the bloc, with the Turkish government of Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan having used its power to turn on and off the flows of hundreds of thousands of Syrians to great effect in recent years, namely in exchange for money for migrants and border security and promises of visa-free travel for Turks.

Like the Belarusian leader, Erdogan has been accused of aiding migrants to cross the border with Greece, even providing transportation to the frontier.

The Polish government confirmed on Wednesday that it was laying barbed wire along its border with Belarus and deploy nearly 1,000 troops to the area to stop the migrants — again, mostly coming from Iraq, but also Syria and Afghanistan — after seeing record numbers arrive.

So far, 2,100 illegals have tried to cross into Poland, 1,342 of which were repelled and 758 “were detained and imprisoned in closed centers”.

Lithuania’s parliament voted last week to erect a fence with Belarus, with MP Dovilė Šakalienė telling Breitbart London last week: “We have to protect ourselves because this is the border of democracy. Our eastern border is the end of the EU and the end of democracy.”

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