The EU executive on Thursday summoned envoys from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to discuss the fate of migrants stranded at their border with Belarus. But the meeting did not take place.
“I am very concerned by reports of people, including children trapped in forests in a dire situation at the EU’s external borders with Belarus,” EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson previously said when ‘she had requested a meeting with the three EU ambassadors from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
In recent months, all three countries have reported an increase in the number of Middle Eastern and African migrants entering their territory from Belarus. The EU accuses Minsk of deliberately orchestrating the flow to put pressure on the bloc.
However, the meeting did not go as planned. There have been speculation this was due to the lack of availability of ambassadors, which a government spokesperson told reporters was not true.
“Yes, I received the invitation to meet and discuss the situation at the EU’s external border with Belarus. As the situation there concerns the security of the entire EU, I also suggested inviting the current and future EU presidencies to the meeting, ”said Simonas Šatūnas, Acting Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the EU, in a press release.
“Since the very beginning of the hybrid attack, Lithuania has cooperated closely with the EU. We believe that resolving the consequences of human trafficking will be the concern of the whole EU, not just the countries exposed to the hybrid attack of the Lukashenko regime, ”she said.
“Only together – the Commission and the whole of the EU27 – can we dismantle illegal human trafficking networks and avoid heart-wrenching situations on the EU’s border with Belarus,” said added atūnas.
(Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)