Commissioner Ylva Johansson: "authoritarian regime in Belarus is exploiting human beings for political reasons."

Last year, 74 people crossed into Lithuania via its border with Belarus. In 2021 already close to 2,100 people entered Lithuania, most of them in June and July.

Most of those crossing into Lithuania from Belarus are from Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Guinea and Iran.

Following a request for assistance from Lithuania, the European Commission is helping EU member states to send support through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. Already twelve countries have offered support such as tents, beds and generators. The Commission coordinates the delivery and finances up to 75% of the costs for transporting the assistance.

The authoritarian regime in Belarus is exploiting human beings for political reasons: this is completely unacceptable. The European Union and the Member States are showing strong solidarity with Lithuania, and together we fully support civil society in Belarus. Humanitarian support will make sure basic needs such as food and shelter are met. The Commission is ready to provide further emergency funding to Lithuania as needed. Also Union agencies are quickly providing support: the European Asylum Support Office is helping protect people, manage reception and process asylum applications; Frontex is deploying personnel and equipment to protect the European external border; and Europol is deploying staff to help safeguard European internal security.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson.

The assistance is coordinated by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, which strengthens cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism.

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EU Commission

European Commission press service, Brussels.

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