‘At Least Two Dozen’ Terrorists Have Crossed EU Eastern Border Since July: Lithuanian Govt

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LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

Lithuania has said that “at least two dozen” terrorists have crossed the European Union’s eastern border since July 2021, as the Baltic state and neighbouring Poland suffer a border crisis engineered by Belarus.

Speaking to POLITICO, a senior Lithuanian government official warned that “since July 2021 at least two dozen irregular crossers of the EU eastern border were identified as members of radical terrorist groups,” adding that European Union institutions need to “start taking resilience issues more seriously” sooner rather than later to address its eastern border crisis.

Yesterday saw violent clashes on the Polish border as illegal migrants, allegedly transported direct from the Middle East to Minsk by the Belarusian regime for the express purpose of pushing them to the frontier in order to pressure the EU and NATO, used wire-cutters and shovels to try and force their way into the country.

Polish government spokesman Stanisław Żaryn has said that the migrants are “fully controlled by the Belarusian security services and army”, and that yesterday’s “coordinated attempt to massively enter the territory of the Republic of Poland” are just the beginning of the former Soviet Socialist Republic’s “hybrid attacks” on Poland.

“By creating an artificial migration route and cynically exploiting migrants, Lukashenka is trying to destabilize Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, and to force the European Union to lift the sanctions imposed on the Minsk regime,” Żaryn accused.

The European Union — perhaps surprisingly, considering its historical lack of support for efforts to contain mass migration by member-states such as Hungary — has offered rhetorical support to the Polish government, despite their clashes elsewhere over national sovereignty and coal miners.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen issued a statement describing the “instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes by Belarus” as “unacceptable” and said she was “calling on [EU] Member-States to finally approve the extended sanctions regime on the Belarusian authorities responsible for this hybrid attack.”

The Lithuanian governments jab at the bloc not taking border resilience seriously is not without foundation, however, with the Commission having refused to provide funding for a Greek border wall against illegal migrants travelling via Turkey while Donald Trump was U.S. President, branding them “pointless”.

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