The United States is concerned about the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants from Belarus into Lithuania, a U.S. diplomat said.
Lithuania began building a 550-km (320-mile) razor wire barrier on its border with Belarus after accusing Belarusian authorities of flying in migrants from abroad to send illegally into the European Union.
"We are watching it very closely and with concern", said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent in an interview with Lithuanian news website 15min.lt, published on Sunday.
He said the "pressure tactic" is comparable to migrant flows from Russia to Finland and Norway in 2015.
"That's something that we call on Belarusian authorities to stop – intentionally pushing migrants from other countries to the Lithuanian border", said Kent.
The 30-kilometer-long fence will appear in the area of Druskininkai border unit. This is where border guards apprehended the largest number of illegal migrants from Belarus since the beginning of the year (512 people). The overall number of illegal migrants detained on the boder with Belarus during this year totaled 1,546 people.
On July 2, the Lithuanian government announced the nationwide state of emergency due to the increasing flow of illegal migrants from Belarus. According to the border guards, it grew 11 times compared to the number observed in 2020.