Gallery: Estonia sends tents to help Lithuania with migrant crisis

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Estonia is sending tents and equipment to help Lithuania after an rise in irregular migration from Belarus. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A truckload of tents was sent to Lithuania from Estonia on Wednesday to help the country after a recent rise in irregular migration from across the Belarusian border.

Estonia is sending €200,000 worth of aid to Lithuania through the European Union's civil protection mechanism. As well as tents, beds, heaters and air conditioners, tables and chairs and other furniture have been dispatched.

Janar Kärner, head of the Administrative Department of the Rescue Board, told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Wednesday: "The wish list was long, but many other members of the European Union and members of the Civil Protection Mechanism have also contributed to providing assistance to Lithuania."

The point of the mechanism is that if an emergency situation breaks out in some member state that the state in question cannot deal with on its own, it can ask for and will receive international assistance from other participants in the mechanism. 

To date, Croatia, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Greece and Slovenia have also pledged to provide assistance to Lithuania.

The Lithuanian government has declared a state-level emergency after thousands of migrants from the middle east and Africa entered the country from neighboring Belarus in recent weeks.

More than 1,600 foreigners have been detained near Lithuania's border with Belarus so far this year, more than 20 times the total number in 2020. Lithuania has built a refugee camp to accommodate the arrivals.

Earlier this year, Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko said he would no longer stop migrants trying to enter the EU in reaction to Lithuania's strong support for the Belarusian opposition. The Lithuanian government has called the move "hybrid aggression".

At the beginning of July, the ten-member Estonian border guard unit ESTPOL5 also started patroling near the Lithuanian city of Druskininkai, which is close to the border with Belarus.

An investigation by Lithuania's national broadcaster examined the migrant route from Iraq to Belarus.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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