Baltic defence ministers: Situation in Lithuania is a hybrid attack

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National flags of the three Baltic States, from left, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian ministers of defense agreed the migrant situation in Lithuania is a hybrid attack on the country by the Belarusian regime.

Kalle Laanet, Artis Pabriks, and Arvydas Anušauskas held a video meeting on Thursday to discuss possible steps to strengthen security in the region in relation to the hybrid operation against Lithuania.

"Lithuania is under hybrid attack, with the situation being a security crisis that is directly affecting the Baltic Republics and our region as a whole," said Laanet (Reform).

"The Estonian Defence Forces have already provided practical assistance to Lithuania and we are ready to continue doing so, sending unmanned aircraft from our Defence Forces to Lithuania. Estonia is also ready to offer support in conducting procurements. I believe that we should also ask for support and help from our Allies," he added.

As a first step, the Estonian Defence Forces allocated 100 km of barbwire to Lithuania, so that Lithuania could accelerate the process of strengthening its border, and we will also assist Lithuania in acquiring additional barbwire.

Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas said: "The current situation on the border is not just a migrant crisis; it is hybrid warfare against the European Union, NATO and especially against the stability of the Baltic States. This hybrid attack requires a united and coordinated response from the Baltic States. We are grateful to Estonia and Latvia for their solidarity and unity in the face of these threats."

The ministers jointly acknowledged the seriousness of the security crisis and decided to further coordinate their actions and responses. In the last month, more than 2,500 refugees - mostly from the middle east - have arrived in Lithuania via the Belarusian border, which is almost 33 times more than last year and 66 times more than in 2019.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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