VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lithuania said on Monday it would complete a 508-km (315-mile) fence along its border with Belarus by September next year to stop migrants it says are crossing in record numbers orchestrated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.© Reuters/JANIS LAIZANS FILE PHOTO: Lithuanian army soldiers install razor wire along the border with Belarus, in Druskininkai, Lithuania
Lithuania, Latvia and Poland have reported major increases in migrants reaching their territory from Belarus and have accused Lukashenko of using them to put pressure on the European Union to lift sanctions against his country.
“The physical barrier is vital for us to repel this hybrid attack, which the Belarus regime is undertaking against Lithuania and the EU,” Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said.
State-owned EPSO-G, which runs Lithuania’s electricity and gas grids, is overseeing the construction of the border fence, which will be three meters (10 feet) high when topped with razor wire and cost at least 152 million euros, the government said.
Last week EU countries accused Belarus of conducting “a direct attack” by pushing asylum seekers across its border and, uneasy about the prospect of a surge of Afghan migrants, agreed they need to strengthen their external borders in the future.
So far this year, 4,141 people have illegally crossed into Lithuania, a small Baltic republic of 2.8 million inhabitants, according to government figures, compared with 74 in all of 2020.
Only 21 have crossed since Aug. 10, when Lithuania resorted to pushing migrants coming from Belarus back into the former Soviet republic. Almost 2,000 were denied entry during the period, according to the Interior Ministry.
The EU accuses Belarus of flying Iraqis to Minsk and then driving them north towards its borders.
Lukashenko has said he will no longer hold back migrants due to the sanctions imposed after a disputed presidential election last year and subsequent crackdown on protesters and dissidents.
(Reporting by Andrius Sytas; Editing by Mark Heinrich) AdChoices
YOU MAY LIKE
- The No.1 Quest Game of 2021! No Download…Klondike
- Canada Visa – Eligibility FormCanada IMS
- This game will improve your strategic…DeltaWars
MORE FOR YOU
Cambridge University to lead UK’s largest autism study Evening StandardClimate crisis made deadly German floods ‘more likely’ The GuardianRussia begins with new nuclear submarines dw.comPoland plans Belarus border fence to halt migrants BBC News
Exclusive-EU considers help for rare earth magnet production – sources ReutersUK: Afghan rescue ‘down to hours’Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said the Kabul evacuation effort is “down to hours now, not weeks” as he conceded Britain’s involvement will end when the US leaves Afghanistan. The Taliban also said any attempt to continue the operation past August 31 would “provoke a reaction” as Boris Johnson prepared to press Joe Biden for an extension to the … Evening StandardPutin’s pre-election social payments may cost budget $6.75 billion -…MOSCOW (Reuters) – Social payments to pensioners and soldiers announced by President Vladimir Putin at the weekend before an election next month could cost the budget more than 500 billion roubles ($6.75 billion), Andrei Makarov, a senior lawmaker, said on Monday. Putin on Sunday said the government would make one-off payments to military personn… ReutersGermany looking at evacuations from Afghanistan after Kabul… Reuters
Zelenskiy vows to bring back Crimea Associated PressGreece wildfires: New blaze hits Evia island dw.comCaribbean islands slated for red list while Spain expected to stay amber The IndependentWHO: Delay Covid booster shotsBUDAPEST, Aug 23 (Reuters) – WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that COVID-19 booster shots should be delayed as priority should be given to raising vaccination rates in countries where only 1% or 2% of the population has been inoculated. If vaccination rates are not raised globally, stronger variants of the coronavirus … ReutersUPDATE 2-Hungary evacuates 173 people, including Americans… ReutersRussia: Detained Ukrainian spy ReutersBelarus tightens grip on lawyers ReutersNord Stream 2: Ukraine, US & Germany discuss guarantees ReutersTear gas hurled at Albania concert Associated PressRomania’s Constanta Planetarium to get 4K hybrid system after…The Planetarium in Constanta, southeastern Romania, will also feature a 4K hybrid system after modernization. Sky Professionals will be in charge of the upgrade works and will deliver the 4K hybrid installation, together with a full-dome digital astronomical simulator and full-dome documentaries, Profit.ro reported. The EU-funded project will last … Romania InsiderUK to push Taliban to extend Kabul exit date for troopsThe UK is preparing to appeal to the Taliban to extend the 31 August deadline for western forces to leave Kabul, while accepting it will not be able to airlift everyone eligible to leave Afghanistan. The armed forces minister, James Heappey, confirmed the UK would try to persuade the Americans to stay longer in Kabul at a G7 meeting on Tuesday. Spe… The GuardianRomania govt may face no-trust vote Romania InsiderPeople evacuated as new wildfire hits Greek island AFPRomania mulls Covid booster jabs Romania InsiderGermany: Firefight at Kabul Airport ReutersGerman rail strike: Union extends action to passenger trains dw.comUK plans offshore asylum centres in other countries for Afghans The GuardianUkraine sanctions lawmaker accused of meddling in U.S. electionKYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Sunday signed a decree imposing sanctions on Andriy Derkach, the Ukrainian lawmaker accused by the United States of being a Russian agent and interfering in U.S. elections, the presidential office said. The sanctions include an asset freeze, a ban on capital withdrawals, the revocation o… ReutersUkraine: Nord Stream 2 a ‘dangerous geopolitical weapon’ dw.com
Climate change activists target London’s GuildhallLONDON (Reuters) – Climate change activists climbed the outside of the headquarters of the City of London’s government on Sunday as they began two weeks of protests focused on the capital’s financial district. About 200 demonstrators from the group Extinction Rebellion targeted the medieval Guildhall, the home of the City of London Corporation, w… ReutersRussia plans one-off payments to military, retired ahead of electionMOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said his government will make one-off payments to pensioners and military personnel this year to help them cope with a sharper-than-expected rise in inflation, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday. Rising food prices are a sensitive matter for the Kremlin ahead of a parliamentary election in S… ReutersRussia: Don’t want Afghan militants Reuters‘Imbecilic’: Ex-UK leader Tony Blair slams Afghan withdrawal Associated PressSwedish PM Lofven says to step down in November ReutersCzech Republic: Health care professions become fashionable dw.comUkraine evacuates 83 from Kabul ReutersUS lends support to Lithuania Reuters
Crimean Tatars bemoan plight as Ukraine hosts summit Associated PressBritain to push US to extend Afghan evacuation deadline as… Evening StandardU.S., Spain agree use of military bases in Spain for Afghan refugees ReutersAfghanistan crisis: UN warns leaders The GuardianUK: 7 die in Kabul airport chaos Associated PressAustria’s Kurz says he opposes taking in any more AfghansVIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz opposes taking in any more people fleeing Afghanistan now that the Taliban have seized power, he said in remarks published on Sunday. Austria took in more than one percent of its population in asylum seekers during Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 and 2016, and Kurz has built hi… ReutersMerkel visits Kyiv after MoscowGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Ukraine on Sunday, an ally she has supported in its conflict with pro-Russia separatists but has disappointed with her appetite for Russian gas. She will meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky just two days after holding talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow ahead of her departure from of… AFP
UK says Russia, China needed for ‘moderating influence’ over TalibanBy Kanishka Singh (Reuters) -Britain would have to turn to Russia and China to exercise a “moderating influence” over the Taliban, despite a mistrust between the UK and those governments, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. “We’re going to have to bring in countries with a potentially moderating influence like Russia and China, however uncomfortab… ReutersProtesters in France demonstrate against COVID pass for sixth… ReutersPutin, Erdogan agree to strengthen coordination on Afghan issues… ReutersEU neighbours jointly rebuke Belarus for migrant surge ReutersBottle message washes up after 3,000-mile journey BBC NewsNATO: Rescue on in AfghanistanThe main focus in Afghanistan now is to evacuate people from the country, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, as reports of violence and repression continue to emerge despite promises of peace from the Taliban. “We are working 24/7 to get as many people out as possible,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Friday. U.S. President Joe Biden sai… CNBCFeedback