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Šimonytė and Ursula von der Leyen discuss situation at the EU-Belarus border

LITHUANIA, November 18 - Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has had a phone call with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen about the situation at the European Union-Belarus border and the hybrid aggression against the European Union carried out by Belarus.

The Prime Minister of Lithuania has emphasised the need to maintain the unity of the European Union and not make concessions to the regime that had caused the crisis, but rather further increase pressure of the international community on Minsk. The Prime Minister has also expressed full solidarity with Poland that is currently under the greatest pressure.

Šimonytė has underlined that concessions only make the numbers of people turned into instruments of the regime grow, as they do not solve the situation in substance and divert attention from the main culprit of the humanitarian crisis, Alexander Lukashenko.

The Head of the Lithuanian Government has emphasised that the humanitarian crisis must be dealt with in Belarus, with the assistance of the UN and other international humanitarian organisations that must be allowed to work in that country.

According to the Prime Minister, the work of the EU institutions in the countries of origin in stopping new flights and dealing with the issue of repatriation is highly important.

The Head of Government has stressed that EU sanctions on the responsible Belarusian officials and individuals, including air carriers and other organisers of illegal migration flows, must be set and applied until the situation changes substantially.