Migrants Irregularly Crossing from Belarus to Lithuania

A member of the Lithuania State Border Guard Service looks through binoculars as he patrols on the border with Belarus, near the village of Purvenai, Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis, File)

Migrants Irregularly Crossing from Belarus to Lithuania

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i Courtney Austrian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
August 5, 2021

The United States shares the concerns of our Lithuanian and European allies regarding the significant uptick in migrants and asylum seekers irregularly crossing from Belarus to Lithuania.  This orchestrated effort is a direct result of the Lukashenka regime’s stated intention to retaliate against the sanctions imposed by the West, announced publicly in May 2021.

This is another example of the regime’s attempts to intimidate partner countries supporting opposition to his abusive regime – whether from outside Belarus or from inside.  We call on the Lukashenka regime to end this irresponsible and dangerous practice immediately.

We will continue to work closely with our partners and allies to hold the Lukashenka regime and its officials accountable for their actions and to demonstrate our commitment to the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus.

Thank you, Madam Chair.