MINSK, 20 July (BelTA) - Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko criticized Lithuania for inhumane treatment of migrants as he spoke at a meeting on Belarus' current foreign policy priorities on 20 July, BelTA has learned.
The head of state slammed Lithuania for the treatment of the migrants detained at the border and compared the detention conditions to those in concentration camps. The president cited the incident that had recently taken place at the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. Belarusian TV channels also showed the incident. The matter was about a group of 26 migrants (mostly women and children), who were forced back across the border from Lithuania to Belarus at a gunpoint.
“They took away their documents, tore their passports in front of them and threw them away. The armed people took these migrants to the Belarusian-Lithuanian border, put them in front of them, like the Nazis (who used civilians as a shield in offensive operations). That was exactly how they lined up those 26 people and sent them across the border, firing over their heads. They beat them up, and some of them are now in hospital,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
A pregnant woman was among the victims. "Was she, this woman, and her children a threat to Lithuania and the European Union? No, she was fleeing from the war they have unleashed in the Middle East, starting from Algeria and ending with Syria today,” the president said.
The head of state warned that such things have consequences. “Do you know what is happening as of today's morning? As soon as the Middle East, Iraq and other countries, even Turkey, saw this footage [about the incident with a group of injured migrants], I immediately instructed the KGB and the Internal Affairs Ministry to prevent armed people from coming here,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “The way the pregnant woman was treated could anger anyone,” he added.
“Do they expect me to keep these armed Iraqis and Kurds and others here on the border? I will not do this. I am warning you frankly and honestly. Before you make any steps, think about who you are confronting,” the president added.
The Belarusian leader emphasized that the reason for the increased flow of migrants to the European countries was the military action in some regions. “They killed Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein. I have been to those countries. They were developing, wealthy states. They destroyed the Middle East, the war is still raging in Libya and Syria. They destroyed Iraq, the richest country. In the name of what? Did they bring democracy under the wings of fighter jets? No. They destroyed Afghanistan and withdrew the troops. You know what is going on there. People are running away from the war, saving their children. You have invited them, so why are you, like the Nazis, pushing them out now?” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The president believes that the flow of illegal migrants to Europe will continue: “This is only the beginning. I have already told you today that armed people will follow there to defend the offended. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, in this case the consequences can be very serious. “If such a man, who has been at a war, goes there armed, we cannot be sure that he will be defending only pregnant women running from the Middle East and Afghanistan. You know what is going to happen there. We see it in the Western countries and we see how they react,” said the Belarusian leader.
“This is their true colors - vile, fascist, Nazi. They have always been like that, just take a look at history. Not even every century, but every half-century they caused problems, starting one war or another. Do I have to convince you that the Belarusians are a holy people? Belarusians have never imposed their problems on their neighbors and others. Whenever we went to war, we did to defend our land against invaders,” the president said.