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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Crisis on the border with Belarus. Lithuania – how it copes with the crisis

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In connection with the migration crisis on the European Union’s borders with Belarus, the Lithuanian authorities introduced an aggravated state of emergency last week. Dominik Wilczewski, editor of the Przegląd Bałtycki portal, in an interview with TVN24 explained the situation in Lithuania. He pointed out that journalists in this country cannot get closer than one kilometer to the border. He mentioned the presence of Frontex at our neighbor as one of the differences between the situation in Poland and Lithuania.

Dominik Wilczewski, editor of the Przegląd Bałtycki portal, said that a day after the first major crisis at the Polish border crossing in Kuźnica, the Lithuanian government decided to introduce an aggravated state of emergency. – It was adopted by the parliament and this state of emergency has been in force since November 10 for a month – he explained.

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As he said, the solutions introduced in Lithuania resemble those that are in force in Poland. He mentioned here, as an example, the prohibition of people not permanently residing in this area, which was marked out along the border with Belarus, 5 kilometers deep into the country, from moving in the area covered by the state of emergency.

State of emergency in LithuaniaAP / Associated Press / East News

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When asked about journalists’ access to the zone covered by the state of emergency, Wilczewski pointed out that they could stay there with a relevant permit from the border guards. However, he pointed out that “they must not approach the border for less than one kilometer”. – In practice, it may look like that if a journalist cannot approach the border less than a kilometer, he cannot report much – he said.

As a result, the Lithuanian media is dominated by “very laconic daily reports of the Lithuanian border guards”, he stressed.

Frontex on the Lithuanian border

The TVN24 guest pointed out that the pressure on the Lithuanian border is less than on the border with Poland. Every day, the Lithuanian border guard reports several dozen cases of stopping attempts to illegally enter the country, he said.

Lithuania is building the first sections of a steel wall on the border with BelarusReuters

When asked about the difference between the situation in Lithuania and Poland, Wilczewski remarked that “the fundamental difference was that until the beginning of August, migrants (by Lithuania – ed.) Were admitted”. – Now it is a separate challenge for Lithuania, because there are still about 3.5 thousand foreigners in Lithuania who are detained in five temporary centers – he said.

– As for the activities of the Lithuanian authorities in the international arena, Frontex appeared on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border in the summer, he stressed.

Main photo source: AP / Associated Press / East News



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