“Lithuanians must rest and let refugees go to Poland”
Lithuania is being attacked by migrants. The flow of “illegal immigrants” from Belarus has increased 30 times compared to last year! Who are all these people? Of course not the Belarusians. These are people from Africa and the Middle East. Lithuania is a transhipment point for them. The ultimate destination is the rich countries of Western Europe. The Lithuanian authorities blame Lukashenko: allegedly it was the “father” who gave such a “pig” to his neighbors. And Minsk is making a helpless gesture: the country has become impoverished due to sanctions and now has no means of restricting illegal migration flows.
Photo: Lithuanian Border Guard
The Lithuanian government has declared an extreme situation in the country due to the large influx of illegal migrants coming from Belarus. The measure was taken at the initiative of the Lithuanian State Border Guard, which is seeing a daily increase in the number of “illegal immigrants” detained trying to cross the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. The daily “norm” of detainees has already reached one and a half hundred (for comparison, for the whole of 2020, only 81 illegal migrants were detained). In total, according to the latest data, Lithuanian border guards have detained 2,470 poor people since the beginning of the year, trying to break into EU countries with a hook or a fraud. Of course, it is not so much on our Russian scale. But it is a problem for little Lithuania.
All arrivals must be provided with accommodation, food, medical care. While the relevant authorities decide on the question of their future: whether to grant refugee status or to deport – illegal immigrants do not have the right to work. Maintenance of one person in a temporary accommodation center costs the state treasury 20-30 euros per day. There are many women and children among the refugees. There are very young children, there are pregnant women, there are patients with covid. Patients with covid should be treated. They should be as isolated as possible. At best, it takes several months to consider an asylum issue. And that is if all the documents are in order. But after all, many have no proof of identity at all. In summer, people can be accommodated in tents, but what about them when winter comes? Meanwhile, everything points to the fact that newcomers will have to spend the winter on the shores of the Baltic Sea …
The first conflict with the authorities
The Lithuanian press reports on the first conflicts between migrants and local authorities. The mayor of the region, Ignalina Yustas Rasikas, spoke in the “Good Evening, Lithuania” program on the LNK television channel about the tense situation in the camp of illegal refugees. How tense? According to Lithuanian standards, of course. We wouldn't notice that. The mayor complained that migrants are placing increasing demands: first they demanded the return of mobile phones, then – the lifting of restrictions on outdoor walks. In protest, the illegal immigrants even refused to eat … “Dissatisfaction is growing, say,” the mayor said. – There are more and more demands, which raises our concerns. Today they brought more fences to give them more space for walks … As I understand it, some phones were returned. Others were promised to return in the near future. We gave them more opportunities to go out – we brought barriers. We met these conditions. Somehow they agreed to lunch, but refused breakfast. “
The mayor's concern is understandable, but it is also possible to understand the refugees who turned out to have been removed from their mobile phones, banned from walking and even … women were housed with men. And Muslim women, as it turned out, were not prepared for such a turnaround. By the way, only 50 refugees were received in the Ignalina region. For this amount, the public security service assigned only four guards. “But can 4 last up to 50?” The mayor asks carefully. If serious unrest broke out in the camp, the four guards would clearly fail.
A separate problem is the lack of funds. The government has set aside € 5.85 including VAT to feed one migrant. But no one wants to feed people that kind of money. The current food contracts for migrants will soon expire and no new suppliers can be found. Food riots ahead? If it is not possible to conclude new ones after the expiry of the contracts, then “security will be required”, Rasikas stressed. “You can't solve a problem without conflicts.”
But these are just flowers. The Delfi.lt portal states that in the village of Kapchamestis, Lazdija district, the locals who prepared food for migrants experienced a real shock. The refugees refused to eat the food they cooked, threw it on the ground or poured it in the toilets. And even … they were relieved in thermoses! “They spat in the soul,” says one of the chefs. By the way, the cost of food here was 14 euros per person per day.
23. riots broke out in the migration center in the town of Pabrade in June, border guards had to use tear gas and shoot into the air. By the way, the center is designed for 100 people, now the number of guests is already approaching five hundred. In addition, we had to set up a tent camp for 250 people on the territory of the border bases and equip two hangars for 70 people.
In Kapchyamestis, about a hundred illegal immigrants were placed in school. Young people from Cameroon, Mali and Guinea sleep on mattresses in the gym. It's good that the holidays, but the preschool group had to be closed.
However, if the flow of refugees increases, then the state will not have sufficient “capacity”. Lithuanian State Border Guard Chief Rustam Lyubaev called for preparation for the worst case scenario. In his opinion, there are 40,000 migrants. The same figure was mentioned by the Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte. The container city, the equipment of which is planned in the Lithuanian Svenchensky region, is intended for this number of uninvited guests. It was proposed to allocate 16 hectares of land in the village of Augustavas, near the town of Shvencioneliai. The installation of 219 containers is planned in the settlement of Medininkai (it will cost the Lithuanian budget 4.6 million euros).
But will that solve the problem? What will it be like when refugees accustomed to the hot southern climate overwinter in containers? Especially women and children.
No wonder someone is losing their temper. Armed people are driving refugees from Lithuania back to Belarus. On July 19, the Belarusian State Border Committee announced that on July 18 and 19, the Belarusian Border Guard detained a total of 26 Iraqi citizens who had illegally crossed the border from Lithuania. Among them were two children and a pregnant woman. The Iraqis said they were not fed or allowed to drink in the Lithuanian refugee camp. At the same time, officers of the State Border Guard Service under the Lithuanian Ministry of Interior were interrogated and beaten, forcing them to testify about the bribery of Belarusian border guards. After interrogation, the people were brought to the border and under threat of using weapons were forced to move to Belarus. A video is circulating on the Internet in which Lithuanian border guards allegedly shoot at refugees with military weapons.
And where are the human rights that Lithuania has committed itself to when it joins the EU? In Karaganda. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda last week signed amendments to the law on the legal status of foreigners, which significantly restrict the rights of illegal migrants. Refugees now have no right to appeal against decisions of a court of first instance. The time frame for examining asylum applications has also been shortened. Before deciding on his “case”, he must be illegal in a special camp without the right to move freely throughout the country.
The Lithuanian Seimas also adopted a resolution stating that illegal migration is a “hybrid attack” on the country in order to destabilize it. All refugees who have arrived in the country illegally are therefore considered “hybrid aggressors” and are subject to deportation.
Meanwhile, the Lithuanian authorities are hastily building barbed wire on the border with Belarus. But also bad luck here: last Friday the barbed wire, or, as they say here, the “accordion” ended. Neighbors have come to the rescue: Estonia is ready to send 100 kilometers of barbed wire to Lithuania. The issue was resolved during talks between Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite and Estonian Defense Minister (!) Kalle Laaneta. As you wish? It's a war, albeit a hybrid.
Illegal migrants fleeing Belarus to Lithuania were filmed
Watch a video on the subject
In this regard, another Lithuanian neighbor, Latvia, is already calling for NATO assistance. They wait in horror for streams of refugees to plunge into their territory. Latvia also has a border with Belarus. Local patriots are already proposing to involve the NATO army in solving the problem. According to the Baltic Internet publication Baltic Word, such an initiative was created by Janis Dombrava, a member of the Latvian national association Saemas “Everything for Latvia!” He is sure that the Baltic states are not dealing “not with classical migration, but with a real military invasion, because foreign intelligence officers and even military men can enter the country under the guise of refugees.” This is therefore a “NATO issue” and the involvement of Alliance forces is fully justified.
How well-founded are the suspicions that what is happening is Lukashenko's revenge on the EU, and Lithuania in particular? For everything: for sanctions, for supporting the opposition, for Lithuania hosting the former presidential candidate Svetlana Tichanovska? From the territory of Lithuania and with the clear encouragement of the Lithuanian leadership, purposeful work is underway to remove Lukashenko. That is obvious.
– In any case, a country with a large number of potential refugees is “hanging” over the European Union from all sides, – I'm sure Belarusian political scientist Yuri Shevcov . – Until recently, there was no such threat from the East for Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. It was created today. Whatever Lukashenko's motives, the main reason for what is happening is that he has stopped restricting the flow of refugees.
– There were various restrictions. There were a lot of them. They have now been removed. Previously, the whole world knew that Belarus has a very tough police regime and that it would not be possible to pass through to other countries. And now they know what will happen. This whole sector of illegal transfer of people to the EU has reached as far as Belarus.
– About half of them are Iraqi citizens. They fly to Minsk completely legally. And then they go to Lithuania.
– No, the Lithuanians will not let them go. There were two groups of Afghans who tried to move to Poland. But the Poles caught them and returned them to Lithuania. Lithuania turned into a sort of settling tank. The EU did not allow her to let people into Germany, Sweden, France …
– No, they just knew they would not cross the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. That they would be caught, imprisoned and deported. Therefore, they did not arrive in such quantities. And now they know they won't get caught. Lukashenko has publicly explained several times that the whole system is very expensive. As the EU has imposed sanctions on Belarus, it must save. Save money on a refugee detention system. Now Lithuania will have to spend money. It turns out that $ 40 million is needed for barbed wire along the border. The border with Belarus is about 700 km, they only had enough wire for one and a half kilometers.
– In fact, it will be enough for 50 km, because the wire is placed in two rows. Of course, the wire will not stop migrants. This means that it is all very expensive. In fact, the Lithuanian Border Service did not yet exist. As we say, they only guarded their border posts. And Belarus did the rest. Now they have to do everything themselves.
– Yes, it will. The number of flights from Iraq should double from August. And about 60% of refugees in Lithuania identify themselves as Iraqis. They buy tourist tours and fly. In Belarus, they like to relax …
– Latvia is now in fear and expectation, – said the famous Latvian journalist Yuri Alekseyev … – Because it also has a relatively long border with Belarus. On the border of Latvia with the Russian Federation there are large fences, security, control belt, everything is equipped with EU money. And there is nothing like that on the border with Belarus. This limit is rather arbitrary, it simply does not exist. I often visit those places. After crossing a river or lake or walking through the forest, you can safely get to Belarus and return. Of course, no one is running to Latvia yet – everyone is running to Lithuania. Because everyone wants to get to well-fed Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium … They aspire from Lithuania to Poland; I crossed Poland and now you are in well-nourished countries. Why do they need Latvia? But Latvians are still very concerned.
– I think yes. And what? If Belavia airlines were banned from flying to Europe after the Protasevich incident, what is left? Only to increase the intensity of flights to other destinations – the Middle East, Iraq, Pakistan and so on. It's quite logical. This is a game with the same cards.
– Yes, there are a small number of refugees to be received under the EU quota. A camp was even set up near them for Riga. But they won't stay there long. Because Latvia, like Lithuania, is a hungry country. Here they receive three euros a day per person. They teach Latvian. I need it? They didn't go for it. They went to live on social security in Germany, France, Great Britain … So I think that Lithuanians should relax and, following the example of Belarusians, simply let these refugees go to Poland at night. And the Poles will let them into Germany anyway.
– Because there was no channel through Belarus before. Everyone arrives by air. The Belarusian border guards “received” them directly at the airport. Why don't they do it now? This is an asymmetric response to sanctions against Belarus. On the other hand, it's trolling. I think that Lukashenko is actively “trolling” the European Union and responding to sanctions with the same coin.
Ukrainian journalist Yevgeny Vasilkevich spent several years in a refugee camp in the Netherlands, awaiting political asylum. Its neighbors have always been immigrants from the Middle East, from African countries.
“They smoke weed, they smuggle,” he said. – If cigarettes cost 10 euros in a regular store, then you can buy a package at the camp for 3.50. And marijuana – for 5 euros, although in a cafe – the official drugstore – costs 15. In addition, they steal from shops, engage in prostitution in the camp. People have lived here for three or four years, they cannot have a family or children. In the Netherlands, male prostitution is also flourishing – 15 euros per hour. One hundred people came from Uganda, they said they were all gay, they all got “positives.” And then it turned out that everyone had the same cases. That means they are copies. In fact, they are not homosexuals. Sometimes Arabs are denied a tattoo in the form of a cross when they are denied status: they allegedly changed their faith and are now executed in their homeland … In principle, Europe is simply used to obtain a flat from the state, documents and the right to do business in EU countries tax breaks . And some of them live their whole lives in social care and do nothing. Everyone is lying – they have not a single document or a single piece of evidence of persecution at home. But I had a friend from Iraq – he was a soldier and a gay man. He was held in the camp for 5 years and refused. The lawyer did not want to defend him. I have the impression that only refugees who meet certain predetermined standards have rights here. They only give positive solutions to “theirs” in order to put pressure on other countries. And Lukashenko is great.