European Union ministers will hold emergency talks on what they view as a Belarusian pressure campaign of illegal migration against EU nations, according to Agence France-Presse.
The bloc has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging new migrants to cross the border in reaction to Poland’s decision to provide refuge to Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics.
Slovenia, which currently serves as rotating president of the EU, said the talks would take place virtually on August 18, AFP reported.
In addition to the EU’s 27 member states, representatives of the Frontex border guard agency, the European Asylum Support Office and Europol were also invited.
The EU meeting was announced as Poland and Lithuania reportedly called on European institutions to help them deal with the surge in illegal migration from Belarus.
In the statement Friday, Poland and Lithuania called on the European Commission, Frontex, EASO, other EU member states and non-EU partners to explore solutions to EU migration and asylum issues, according to the Associated Press.
In the past two days, 133 illegal migrants were stopped at the Belarusian-Polish border, compared to 122 in all of 2020, a spokesperson for the Poland Border Guard said, according to AP.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.