Hybrid attacks on borders of EU and NATO condemned by presidents
The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia said the hybrid attacks on the eastern borders of the EU and NATO were politically motivated by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.
A joint statement issued on Monday by Polish President Andrzej Duda and his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia - Gitanas Nauseda, Egils Levits and Kersti Kaljulaid, respectively - stated: "Since June, we have been facing hybrid attacks on the European Union's and NATO's eastern border. Vulnerable citizens from third countries are being used to fuel illegal border crossings from Belarus."
The presidents wrote that they "condemn this unacceptable behavior. Futile pressure and reckless actions will not change our agreed policy on the crisis in Belarus."
"This is not a migrant crisis but a politically orchestrated hybrid operation by Alexander Lukashenko's regime to divert attention from the regime's growing human and civil rights abuses," they added.
"We appreciate our EU partners and NATO allies for their solidarity, political and operational support in stopping hybrid attacks," they wrote, stating that the efforts made by the European Commission and EU agencies to stem irregular migration were of utmost importance.
"Additionally, we seek continued cooperation as well as sustainable solutions with Iraq and other countries in order to stop the malicious scheme of human smuggling," the presidents added.