Vice-Minister Abramavičius discusses migration and border protection issues with a representative from the European Commission


2022 10 03


In Brussels, Vice-Minister of the Interior Arnoldas Abramavičius met with Monique Pariat, Director General of the European Commission's Migration and Home Affairs, to discuss the tightened visa regime for Russian citizens, the Belarusian regime's continued attempts to escalate irregular migration and the current legal status of foreigners.

Vice-Minister Abramavičius assured Director General Pariat that Lithuania is ready to cooperate and consult with the European Commission in finding a balance between the right to asylum and the national security of individuals and the security of the European Union.

"The challenges facing not only Lithuania, Europe, but also the entire civilized world are unprecedented. Problems such as irregular migration caused by the Belarusian regime and the consequences of Russia's war in Ukraine pose not only a regional humanitarian crisis, but also a global existential crisis. Therefore, we must address these issues today, not tomorrow, to ensure the security of our citizens," said Vice-Minister Abramavičius.

At the meeting, the Vice-Minister noted that a high concentration of Belarusian border guards was observed at the border. Not only do they continue to push migrants into Lithuanian territory, but they are also actively damaging the physical barrier, especially where border surveillance systems are not yet in place. The total number of breaches of the physical barrier is 287.

In order to respond more actively to the actions of the Belarusian regime, the installation of a patrol path is currently under consideration, which would allow for a more efficient and faster access to the physical barrier. This is particularly relevant in cases of damage to the physical barrier and attempts to illegally cross the state border. The Vice-Minister of the Interior raised at the meeting the possibility of obtaining EU funding for this purpose.

Vice-Minister Abramavičius presented the situation in Lithuania after the European Parliament's visit to Lithuania. The Minister said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs was informed about the situation in Lithuania in the light of the restrictions on the entry of Russian citizens introduced on 19 September 2009. According to the Vice-Minister of the Interior, other EU Member States could follow the example of the Baltic States and Poland and more actively support a strict policy of sanctions against Russia and its citizens.

"Unified EU decisions on these issues are the most effective way to address the challenges. This is particularly relevant after the mobilization announced in Russia, where Russian citizens with military experience and expertise can enter the EU and Schengen countries," said Vice-Minister Abramavičius.

Ms. Pariat agreed with this position of Lithuania, the threats to the EU security are obvious, and the European Commission supports the need to closely monitor and screen all those applying for a Schengen visa or arriving with such a visa.