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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Lithuania. Minister of Justice: We will demand compensation from Belarus for bringing migrants to our border

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Lithuania will demand compensation from Belarus in the amount of at least 120 million euros for smuggling migrants and bringing them to the Lithuanian border. Vilnius will also seek the consideration of the case by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main UN judicial body, Lithuanian state broadcaster LRT reported.

“Authorities Lithuania have sufficient information to conclude that the illegal influx of migrants, which has been ongoing since 2021, would not have been possible without the participation of the Belarusian regime,” Lithuanian Justice Minister Ewelina Dobrowolska wrote on Twitter.

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The Minister of Justice announced that Lithuania would file a complaint against Belarus to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for failure to comply with the provisions of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the Convention UN against international organized crime.

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“We will demand a statement (by Belarus) on international responsibility for violations of international law and compensation for damages suffered. But most importantly, we will seek a legal path to finally stop all migration, which is used as a cruel political tool through which people are exploited” – announced the Lithuanian minister. The LRT explained that at least €120 million was involved.

Lithuanian-Belarusian border Shutterstock

Migrants on the border of the European Union

Pressure on the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia with Belarus in connection with illegal migration has been increasing since the turn of spring and summer 2021. European Union and Member States believe that the attempts of migrants from the Middle East to get through the borders with Belarus further to Europe are the result of the deliberate actions of Alexander Lukashenko, who instrumentally uses migrants, e.g. to destabilize the situation in the region.

Since August 2021, Lithuania, with a population of almost 3 million, has refused 20,000 migrants to cross the Belarusian border. In 2021, nearly 4,200 migrants crossed the border, but most have since left Lithuania, according to data collected by the LRT.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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