At the OSCE Permanent Council, Lithuania's demands for Belarus to stop sending illegal migrants to its territory
On 16 July, Lithuania informed the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of a sharp increase in the number of third country nationals illegally crossing the state border from Belarus into Lithuania over the past two months.
The Belarusian border guard service has ceased cooperating and sharing information with their Lithuanian counterparts. Lithuania's representative said that the Government believed that, by pursuing such policies, Belarus was using illegal migration as a political weapon and abusing international refugee protections. These illegal crossings are artificially stimulated and represent a clear act of political vengeance on the part of the Belarusian regime for Lithuania’s vocal stance towards grave violations of human rights in Belarus.
Lithuania thanked the EU and its member states for their solidarity and concrete actions on the ground. It also called on Belarus to immediately stop its malicious behaviour and to respect and implement its international commitments and obligations, including those undertaken within the OSCE. Lithuania asked the OSCE to observe how Belarus implemented its commitments and obligations.
Lithuania also briefly informed about the 4th Ukraine Reform Conference that was held in Vilnius on 7-8 July 2021. The conference provided a timely opportunity for its participants to assess the latest reforms and to discuss the remaining challenges. The next Ukraine Reform Conference will be held in Switzerland in 2022.