MINSK, August 5. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has accused the Western countries of intentionally creating a crisis-like situation involving migrants on the border and described it as a new way of applying pressure on the country's authorities, the news agency BelTA said on Thursday.
"I believe that if we compare all factors and facts that we observed lately during the seven or eight stages of a so-called color revolution, we will see that they (the Western countries - TASS) have nothing left. For this reason, they have returned to the well-tested tactic of blackmail and pressure. They have gone as far as threats to use force. One of the threats is that allegedly illegal migrants will be brought to official border checkpoints, say, between Lithuania and Belarus. Several hundred people, or possibly a thousand. And then they will be forced into Belarus at gunpoint," Lukashenko said at a conference devoted to the situation on the border.
He stressed that if the current trend persists, such actions by neighboring countries "will be fraught with conflict, because the border guards are obliged to protect the border and prevent its violations."
"A very risky situation is taking shape. But it will be wrong to say that we did not foresee it and did not anticipate it. At a certain point I asked you first and foremost to be very attentive to our so-called friends and neighbors, in particular, those in the West," Lukashenko explained. He stressed that the latest developments on the country's Western borders, primarily with Lithuania and Poland "arouse concern, to say the least."
On Thursday, the Belarusian State Border Guard Committee said that Lithuania continued to expel migrants, forcing them to violate the Belarusian border. On Wednesday, there were reports that Belarussian border guards picked up a group of migrants driven out of Lithuania. They reportedly had gunshot wounds and dog bites. The Border Guard Committee released a video showing the victims. Its spokesman Anton Bychkovsky told TASS that earlier Belarusian border guards had picked up "a man of oriental appearance" near the Lithuanian border. The main was in grave condition and died while being given first aid. And one day earlier, on August 3 the State Border Guard Committee said that about 40 foreigners had been expelled by force into Belarus from Lithuania.
On Wednesday, the Belarussian Foreign Ministry said that Minsk regarded Lithuania's attempts to blame it for the migration crisis as groundless, but confirmed its readiness to jointly resolve complex issues by means of cross-border cooperation. The Foreign Ministry added that Lithuania's amendments to national legislation and the Interior Minister's order authorizing the use of force against asylum seekers had entailed tragic consequences.
Lithuania's Defense Minister Arvydas Anuskauskas and Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said the media reports about a beaten-up Iraqi migrant, found near the Lithuanian-Belarusian border by Belarusian border guards, who later died of injuries were a provocation by Minsk.