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21 July 2021, 19:11
Aleksandr Shpakovsky

Mistreatment of migrants in Lithuania is a war crime

Aleksandr Shpakovsky
Aleksandr Shpakovsky
Political scientist

Mistreatment of migrants in Lithuania is a war crime, the political analyst Aleksandr Shpakovsky told BelTA.

Aleksandr Shpakovsky said: “I have to say that Lithuania has provoked this migration crisis on its own because up till now Belarus has been in essence taking care of the migration security of the European Union. Belarus and the European Union had the relevant agreements on transboundary cooperation. They were mutually beneficial. On the one hand, Belarus received certain financial, material, and technical aid from the European Union. On the other hand, forces and assets of the State Border Committee of Belarus were used to ensure the security of borders of Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland from an inflow of illegal migrants. We know that the Belarusian-Russian border is an open one and the flow of migrants has always been significant. But countries of the European Union did not feel it. The Belarusian society did not notice this scrupulous but unseen work. In essence the society was not aware of this work.”

The analyst noted that it took the European Union only several days to terminate those agreements with Belarus, including with Lithuania's assistance. As a result the number of migrants in Lithuania has approached 2,000 and a state of emergency has been introduced in the country. “We see that instead of trying to regulate these matters by legal means, instead of enabling conditions for accommodating the refugees, instead of adopting a program on integrating the refugees into the society and identifying them, instead of taking care of basic human rights – instead of all the things Brussels and Lithuania speak up for so much – they've simply started abusing these people. If forensic experts and the testimony of the refugees themselves, who were returned to Belarus under the threat of physical violence, confirm this information, we will be talking about war crimes,” Aleksandr Shpakovsky said. “I think it is necessary to file the relevant suits with the European Court of Human Rights. It seems to me that genuine human rights organizations if there are any in our country should provide all kinds of support to these people in distress.”

Aleksandr Shpakovsky added that in this situation Belarus cannot be accused of anything. “First, Belarus has never participated in military operations of the collective West, which destroyed Middle East countries and created unbearable conditions over there, forcing people to abandon their homes and seek a better fate abroad. Second, these refugees do not intend to stay in Belarus. It seems to me that the European Union and the collective West as a whole bear the full responsibility for the unfair situation that has evolved in the world and for the fact that there are regions on our planet where people may die of hunger, where people are simply not physically safe, where civil wars rage. Let's recall that Libya, Syria, and Iraq – the countries where illegal migration originates – were quite stable as little as 10-20 years ago. The illegal migration problem did not exist,” the analyst pointed out. “Third, let me repeat it: if the European Union terminates agreements on border cooperation with Belarus, if mutually beneficial programs are terminated, if the European Union introduces economic sanctions against Belarus that threaten not only national security but also the financial wellbeing of every citizen, then it may be logical of Belarus to spend financial resources on resolving the problems caused by these sanctions instead of taking care of the European Union's border security. Let me repeat it: these people do not want to live in Belarus. They want to reach the European Union and the union should take certain measures to adapt these masses of refugees because they are a consequence of the union's policy.”

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