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Foreign affairs committees condemn Lukashenko's 'human trafficking'

Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Ukraine, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have made a joint statement in support of Lithuania in connection with the politically motivated migration pressure. It reads:

“We, the Chairs of our respective national parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committees, condemn unequivocally the use of trafficked migrants by the illegal Lukashenka regime to undermine neighbouring states. Using the most vulnerable as leverage in a political dispute is shameful and draws comparison with the act of air piracy we witnessed in May.

The attempt to push migrants over the border of Lithuania is a criminal and inhuman act aimed at undermining the solidarity and support of the Lithuanian people towards those in Belarus who crave liberty and reject the stolen elections of last year. This is a new and pernicious assault on a European Union member state and NATO ally. It should be met with solidarity and a national, European and transatlantic response.

We call for a ban on flights to Belarus suspected of being used for state-organised people trafficking.

We call for sanctions on those involved in this state-organised people trafficking across international borders and the Lukashenka regime that controls it.

We call for a joint commitment to end the people trafficking across the EU borders, including support to Frontex, Border Management and Visa Instrument, European Asylum Support Office and other national and international agencies that can support Lithuania or other states targeted by this unconventional attack by the Lukashenka regime.

We call for joint EU and NATO statements directed to the governments of Iraq, Turkey, and any other state used by the Lukashenka regime in the abuse and instrumentalization of migrants, to end the practice and defend the dignity of those whose rights are being violated.”

Pointedly, the signatories note that "The statement is open for further signatures" with various EU countries yet to join the call.

On behalf of Latvia, the statement is signed by Rihards Kols (National Alliance), chair of the Saeima's influential Foreign Affairs Committee.

 

 

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