Denmark sends barbed wire fences to the pressed Lithuanian border

2021 has offered unusual pressure on the border with Lithuania, after Belarus stopped preventing migrants from seeking further access to the EU.

Last year, only 81 migrants came to Lithuania, but this year, more than 4,100 so-called irregular migrants have already been registered.

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Integration Mattias Tesfaye (S), the pressure is great, and it is now causing Denmark to send a helping hand.

– I believe that it is in Denmark’s interest that we help Lithuania protect their border with Belarus, which is also our common EU border, the minister says.

The illegal migrants come from Iraq, among other places. They travel via Belarus, where President Alexander Lukashenko announced in May that he would not prevent migrants from joining the EU. This was in response to tougher Western economic sanctions.

Mattias Tesfaye says that the message from Lithuania is that many of the migrants will not live in the country. They want to go further west instead.

That is why 15 kilometers of barbed wire fences are now being sent, which will strengthen the border with Belarus. Lithuania pays about 5.5 million kroner for this.

– We have a lot more that can be used in an extreme situation on the Danish-German border if there is a violent mass influx.

– But it is something we do not need – even in such a situation, he says.

The border between Lithuania and Belarus is almost 680 kilometers.

Denmark also sends residential containers and sanitation for use in the border area. Assistance is also offered from the National Police and the Danish Immigration Service.

Here, Denmark can provide manpower – both to help guard the border and to process asylum applications.

A number has not been placed on the offer, which Lithuania, according to the minister, has not yet responded to.

– We have lots of expertise and record low asylum numbers, so it is also an opportunity to move some people to the external borders, instead of us waiting, it will hit Denmark for a long time, says Mattias Tesfaye.

Lithuania has asked the European Commission, the EU Border Agency, Frontex and the EU Member States for concrete assistance. If they ask for more, the minister is not reluctant to help further.

– I think it is important that the Danes know that when you see on TV that countries in the EU are guarding the EU border, then it is with the support of the Danish state, he says.

It is not only Lithuania that has experienced pressure on the border. This is also the case in Poland.

Here, on Thursday, a state of emergency was introduced in parts of two regions in the border area. This means, among other things, that foreigners must now carry ID documents.

Source: The Nordic Page





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