Belarus to close border as Lithuania turns away migrants

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The president of Belarus has ordered the country’s security forces to tighten control over the border with Lithuania, which had begun turning away migrants attempting to cross from Belarus earlier this week. reports citing foreign media that Lithuania, an EU member, has faced a surge of mostly Iraqi migrants trying to enter the country irregularly in the past few months. The surge is emerging as another source of tension between Belarus and its European neighbours to the west.

It says the flow has been a retaliatory tactic by Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko after the EU sanctioned his country for diverting a plane flying to Lithuania to force it to land in the Belarusian capital Minsk in order to arrest a dissident on board.

On Tuesday, Lithuania said it reserved the right to use force to stop such irregular immigration and turned away 180 people attempting to enter the country.

2021.08.05 / 17:27
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