The Belarusian border guards found the lifeless body of an immigrant on the border with Lithuania. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Latvian television that the end of the crisis was not yet in sight. Meanwhile, more and more migrants are returning to Iraq by plane.
Border guards found the man’s body wrapped in a sleeping bag on the Belarus side of the border. The Minsk Border Guard Commission accuses Vilnius of dumping the body across the border. The body will show signs of abuse. More than 10 people were killed while trying to reach the other side of the border, according to the International Red Chaste.
On Saturday evening, migrants boarded an Iraqi Airways plane in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, which will take them to Erbil, Iraq. Two more flights to Iraq are scheduled for Monday. However, thousands of migrants remain at the Belarus border, hoping to reach the European Union. Many of them live in difficult conditions in emergency housing in a warehouse in Brozhny, Belarus.
fueling the migrant crisis
Tensions have been rising on the Poland-Belarus border for weeks as refugees brought to Minsk by the regime of Belarusian dictator Lukashenko attempt to cross the border into Poland. According to the European Union, Lukashenko wants to start a new migration crisis, but the dictator denies these allegations.
Support from NATO and the European Union
Meanwhile, NATO and the European Union have pledged to support eastern EU member states engaged in a standoff with Belarus over migrants. “I would like to assure you here that the European Union is in full solidarity with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia in these turbulent times,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a visit to Lithuania. NATO foreign ministers will meet in Riga on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“No NATO ally stands alone,” Stoltenberg added after his talks in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nosida. Von der Leyen described Lukashenko’s actions as a “deliberate, cynical and dangerous hybrid attack”. Stoltenberg said she is using innocent people to put pressure on neighboring countries. Both stated that NATO and the European Union want to strengthen their cooperation.
Noseda welcomed the visit of Stoltenberg and von der Leyen as “a very important sign of solidarity, support and encouragement for Lithuania”. He said the situation at the border remained “extremely complex and unpredictable”. “The Lukashenko regime (…) will undoubtedly continue to test the unity of the Western world with all means and tactics,” he added.
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