Moscow, July 6 (UNI/Sputnik): European Council President Charles Michel on Tuesday expressed solidarity with Lithuania and pledged to support the country in the face of the illegal immigration crisis on the border with Belarus.
On Friday, the Baltic country declared an emergency over an influx of illegal migrants from Belarus, mainly of Iraqi origin. According to Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, over 1,000 illegal migrants have been detained on the EU eastern border with Belarus since June 1.
“Lithuanian borders are European borders. The EU implemented sanctions against #Belarus and keeps fighting to promote our values. You can count on the EU to bring more support to #Lithuania and its people,” Michel tweeted.
In response to the tweet, Šimonytė thanked Michel for the assistance and noted that the current migrant crisis was a challenge for the European Union as a whole.
The number of illegal immigrants crossing to Lithuania from Belarus has jumped 15 times in comparison to the previous year. Vilnius has since accused Minsk of facilitating the illegal migration instead of collaborating on the matter — an allegation denied by the Belarusian authorities.