Belarus

    • Red Cross warns Lithuania for decision to turn away migrants

      Red Cross warns Lithuania for decision to turn away migrants

      The Red Cross warned on Wednesday that Lithuania's decision to turn away immigrants attempting to cross in from neighboring Belarus does not comply with international law, AP reported. Lithuania, a member of the European Union, has faced a surge of mostly Asian migrants in the past few months. It says that's due to retaliation by Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko after the EU put sanctions on his country over an air piracy incident. The Lithuanian Interior Ministry this week distributed a video shot from a helicopter showing large groups of immigrants being escorted to Lithuania’s border by Belarus border guard vehicles.

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    • Lithuania may ask EU countries to relocate migrants, PM says

      Lithuania may ask EU countries to relocate migrants, PM says

      If the situation became unmanageable, Lithiania may ask other EU countries to accommodate some of the migrants who have been crossing into the country from Belarus, PM Ingrida Simonyte said on Monday. “We are considering it, but I cannot say yet when [Lithuania] will make the request. But if the situation becomes hard to manage, of course, we will,” she told reporters. Earlier on Monday, the Lithuanian prime minister discussed migration crisis with visiting European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Baltic News service reported.

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    • Belarus athlete under protection in Japan after forced deportation claim

      Belarus athlete under protection in Japan after forced deportation claim

      A Belarusian Olympic athlete who claimed her team was forcing her to return home spent the night under protection and may be seeking asylum, AFP reported, citing officials from the Japan's government and from the IOC on Monday. Sprinter Kristina Timanovskaya, 24, missed her chance of competing in Tokyo when the 200 metres heats went ahead without her in the Olympic Stadium. Japan's government spokesman Katsunobu Kato said authorities understood Timanovskaya had "expressed a will to seek asylum", but offered no further details.

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    • Belarus leader threatens to invite Russian troops

      Belarus leader threatens to invite Russian troops

      Belarus’ authoritarian president warned Friday that he would not hesitate to invite Russian troops into the country if such a move is necessary to ensure the security of both Belarus and Russia. However, President Alexander Lukashenko said that at the moment “there is absolutely no need” to do that, AP reports.

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    • Brussels coordinates humanitarian aid to migrants in Lithuania

      Brussels coordinates humanitarian aid to migrants in Lithuania

      Following a request for assistance from Lithuania, the European Commission is helping European countries send support through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. Lithuania asked for help following increased arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers coming from the Middle East and Africa and entering Lithuania via the border with Belarus. Already twelve countries have offered support such as tents, beds and generators. The Commission coordinates the delivery and finances up to 75% of the costs for transporting the assistance, EC Press service reported.

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    • EU guards join patrols on Lithuania-Belarus border

      EU guards join patrols on Lithuania-Belarus border

      With a pair of binoculars, a German police officer working for the EU border agency Frontex scans an empty field crossed by the Belarus-Lithuania border on the lookout for migrants, AFP reported. "I arrived on 1 July and the situation has been interesting from the start because it is very tense," said the guard. He has found 80 migrants on his first night patrol.

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    • Lithuania to build wall on Belarus border

      Lithuania to build wall on Belarus border

      Lithuania plans to build a barrier on the border with Belarus and deploy troops to prevent migrants from illegally crossing into its territory, news wires reported. According to PM Ingrida Simonyte, more than 1,000 migrants had been held after crossing the border since 1 June.

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    • Lithuania asks Turkey to help identify migrants coming from Belarus

      Lithuania asks Turkey to help identify migrants coming from Belarus

      Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Wednesday that he had asked his Turkish counterpart to help identify migrants coming into Lithuania from Belarus, Reuters reported. "A large part of the people (coming into Lithuania from Belarus) arrive there from Turkey, on Turkish airlines. We believe that Turkey knows their identities", he told reporters in Vilnius.

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