Belarus borders Russia, Ukraine and the European Union countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. While relations with Russia were intensified under Lukashenko, relations with the European Union and Ukraine, increasingly moving towards the West, deteriorated significantly.
Relations between Belarus and the West have been tense since the controversial presidential election in August last year and the crackdown on dissent.
The forced landing of Ryanair in Minsk and the subsequent arrest of blogger Roman Protasewicz, who was critical of the government, further strained the relationship. The West has already imposed sanctions on Belarus several times and tightened them more and more.
Refugees and migrants as weapons كأس
It seems that Lukashenko has no problems at other borders – he has migrants smuggled into neighboring countries. So six officials from the European border protection agency Frontex began their work on the border between Lithuania and Belarus on Friday.
The number of immigrants there is steadily increasing, most of them from the Middle East. The Lithuanian border guards announced on Friday that nearly 150 migrants have arrived in the past 24 hours. That’s nearly double what it was in all of 2020.
The number of illegal border crossings has risen to more than 800 this year, and the Lithuanian government, a fierce critic of Belarus’ ruler Alexander Lukashenko, assumes Belarus will allow migrants to cross the border.
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