Liimets at UNSC: Belarus a threat to international peace and security
Belarus' actions on the Polish border are a threat to international peace and security, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday.
"What we are witnessing today in Belarus is massive repressions against people and intensifying acts of transnational repression," Liimets said in New York.
"All this refers to a clear pattern – the instrumentalization of human beings for political purposes with the objective of destabilizing neighboring countries and diverting attention from its own increasing human rights violations. This tactic of the Belarusian authorities is unacceptable. It has become a threat to international peace and security. We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop putting people's lives at risk," the minister said.
will not stop stressing the importance of human rights, accountability & respect for the rule of law in addressing root causes of instability & conflict around the world.— Eva-Maria Liimets (@eliimets) November 9, 2021
Also raised activities of Belarus authorities on the border with Poland at the #UNSC. pic.twitter.com/6jbR34tt7d
On Monday hundreds of migrants were led to the Polish-Belarusian by Belarus' security guards, an escalation of events that has seen thousands of mostly middle eastern migrants cross the EU's eastern border into Poland, Latvia and Lithuania since the summer.
EU officials and member states, including Estonia, hold the Minsk regime responsible for facilitating and enabling irregular migration, calling it "hybrid aggression" against the European Union.
President of Estonia Alar Karis, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and Minister of Defense Kalle Laanet (Reform) have condemned Belarus's actions and pledged support for Poland.
Minister of Interior Kristian Jaani (Center) said this crosses the line from "hybrid attack" to an attack on Poland.
As Estonia does not share border with Belarus, it is not expected that there will be "increased migratory pressure", although several border crossers have been caught traveling through Estonia to Finland.
"We are constantly monitoring and have made preparations in case the number of illegal border crossings should increase," Jaani said.
Lithuania declares state of emergency
On Tuesday, the Lithuanian parliament declared a state of emergency in its border region with Belarus, national broadcaster LRT reported.
It comes into effect on Wednesday (November 10) and is the first time the legal regime has been used in the country since regaining independence.
The state of emergency will last until December 10.
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Editor: Helen Wright