Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on November 28 that NATO needs to adjust its stance towards Belarus, where its troops are becoming more integrated with Russian troops.
Nausėda said Belarus was “fully integrated” into Russia’s military structure at a press conference between NATO Secretary General Jensstratemberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Vilnius, Lithuania. He said he was concerned about that.
“This poses new challenges for NATO, and NATO needs to adapt its plans, strategies and tactics accordingly and be ready to respond,” Nausėda said. meeting With the EU’s top executives and NATO secretary general. Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonite also attended the meeting.
Nausida also said Belarus would continue to test the unity of the West by exploiting thousands of “vulnerable” illegal immigrants arriving in the eastern frontiers of the European Union.
“There is no doubt that the Lukashenko administration and its supporters will continue to test their ability to repel in response to the unity of the Western world and hybrid attacks,” he said. “We are also in contact with potential partner countries for transportation.”
Stoltenberg said in Press conference “NATO recently deployed a team of experts in Lithuania to share information, analysis and experience to combat hybrid threats.”
According to the EU, the crisis was designed by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, a “hybrid war” that Minsk is betting in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed after cracking down on protests against the re-election contested last year. Is part of.
Lithuania has responded to the crisis “in a humane and robust way,” said Von der Leyen, and the European Union continues to support the crisis.
She said that € 200 million ($ 226.3 million) of EU funding will be given to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for border control this year and next year.
The EU is also focusing on the repatriation of migrants from Belarus to illegally cross the EU border. Von der Leyen praised Iraq’s efforts to repatriate. About 75 percent of illegal immigrants trapped on the Belarusian border come from Iraq. Von der Leyen told reporters that Iraq responded immediately to the crisis by returning civilians via air.
In a press conference with Latvian Prime Minister Kurishyaniskarish, Mr. Von der Leyen said there were some plans to revise the Schengen Agreement by the end of the year to address the illegal immigration crisis at the eastern EU border.
“We are working on the possibility of providing member states with more flexible care of people in our territory (EU territory) and taking appropriate procedures … such a serious crisis. In situations, it offers the possibility of registering points and having more flexibility to act and react appropriately, “she said.
NS Schengen area Is a visa-free zone consisting of 26 European countries, both EU and non-EU member states, allowing free and unlimited movement of people across borders.
Russian troops near the border with Ukraine
The Lithuanian president also expressed his own concerns about “strengthening Russian troops near Ukraine.” statement..
“This poses new challenges to NATO’s collective security. NATO needs to adjust its plans, strategies and tactics accordingly and be well prepared to respond,” Nausheda said in a statement. increase.
Stoltenberg Said At a press conference, “Russia’s unexplained and unjustified military buildup near the Ukrainian border” was “extremely concerned” for many reasons.
He added that he sees tens of thousands of combat reserves and heavy weapons gathering near the Ukrainian border.
“It’s also worrisome because it’s neither provoked nor explained,” said NATO Secretary General. “We call on Russia to be transparent, relieve tensions and reduce escalations.”
“We also send a message to Moscow about it. If they decide to use their power, of course, there will be consequences. And we have previously imposed costs and consequences on Russia of ours. He showed his will and ability, “he continued.
Stoltenberg did not elaborate on the specific steps taken, but some consequences in the form of heavy economic and fiscal sanctions imposed on Russia by NATO allies and the EU in 2014 after the illegal merger of Crimea. Was quoted.
Since then, NATO has increased its military presence in the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and in the air, land and sea, Stortenberg said.
NATO’s Foreign Minister met with Russia and Belarus in Latvia on Tuesday, and the situation with NATO’s partners Ukraine and Georgia is on the agenda.
Reuters contributed to this report.