Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s regime has sent nearly 4,000 migrants from Iraq since June and then smuggled them across the border to the European Union in Lithuania.
Former Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkavisius (60) called it an “act of hybrid aggression” at BILD on Monday and called on the federal government to provide “both logistical and diplomatic support”.
Accordingly, BILD asked at the Government District in Berlin how to assess the situation on the border between Belarus and Lithuania. The Federal Foreign Office reacted unusually sharply and condemned the actions of both Lukashenko and the Iraqi airline involved.
In fact, when the Foreign Office was asked by BILD, it said: “The Belarusian regime is abusing the people for political purposes. Germany and the European Union categorically condemn this behavior of those in power in Minsk. The active and targeted smuggling of people across the border into Lithuania is directed against the whole of the European Union.”
The federal government is currently sending “German personnel to Lithuania as part of the EU’s external border security” to support the country “politically and practically”.
Regarding “Iraqi Airways”, which had been unsuccessfully asked by Lithuania to end its smuggling flights to Belarus in the past two months, the Foreign Office in Berlin said that the German government was “in contact with the Iraqi side”. There was misuse of existing flight connections from Baghdad to Minsk”.
However, these efforts seem to have little fruit so far. “Iraqi Airways” also flew to Belarus yesterday, Monday. Not from Baghdad, as before, but for the first time from Sulaimaniyah in the autonomous Kurdish region. The airline avoided both European and Ukrainian airspace and instead flew a wide arc on Russia for allegedly smuggling refugees into Belarus.
Also on Tuesday, a Boeing 747-400 with more than 400 seats took off from Baghdad to Minsk over Russian airspace. Putin’s Russia is considered the closest and only ally of the Lukashenko regime and is therefore well aware of its “hybrid” and inhuman attacks on the European Union.
Frontex drone films hired state smugglers
How courageous Lukashenko is with his smuggling activities is shown on Tuesday by drone recordings published by Frontex, the European border protection agency.
They show how Belarusian border guards drive groups of refugees in their jeeps off the beaten track from paved roads along the border that lead directly to the European Union’s neighboring country, Lithuania. A few meters before the green border, the alleged border guards retreat and allow a group of about 25 people, including several children, to travel the last few meters in the direction of the European Union alone.
In addition, Lithuanian border guards published recordings showing how Belarusian border guards are dismantling barbed wire fences between the two countries. It should also, hence the perception of the Lithuanians, facilitate the illegal border crossing of refugees from Iraq and mainly African countries.
Lithuania pushing back refugees
Lithuania has begun to reject refugees and, if necessary, push them back. “Anyone who tries to come to Lithuania illegally will be brought back to the nearest official border crossing,” border guard chief Rustamas Liubajevas said on Tuesday.
“Preventive” measures can also be taken against those who do not follow orders. On Tuesday, 180 refugees were sent back to Belarus.
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