Belarus not to protect Europe from illegal immigrants - Lukashenko
Belarus will not be protecting Europe from illegal immigration, drug trafficking and smuggling under pressure, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
"They [Western countries] are whining: ah, Belarusians are not protecting them. Thousands of illegal immigrants are rushing into Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. They demand that we protect them from smuggling and drugs. They are calling even from across the Atlantic: help, as you have been doing before, prevent nuclear materials from getting into Europe. I just want to ask, are you crazy? You have waged hybrid war on us and now you demand that we protect you as we did before," Lukashenko said at the Brest Fortress ceremony dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
The Belarus 1 television channel aired the ceremony on Tuesday.
"You are strangling us with information, methodically and collectively. You are ruining, trying to kill our economy and you are still expecting us to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on protecting your geopolitical interests as before. Only crazies can think so and count on our support. We are fighting the evil as good as we can. If you want us to fight as we did before, you should take relevant steps, instead of trying to smother us. That's an unpromising approach," Lukashenko said.
Lukashenko said in late May, after the harsh international response to the forced landing of the Ryanair flight, that Western countries would now be controlling drug trafficking and illegal immigration on the border with Belarus by themselves.
"We have been putting a stop to drugs and migrants, but now you will have to catch them yourselves," he said.
The flow of illegal immigrants, mostly Iraqi citizens, from Belarus to Lithuania grew a lot after that.
A few days ago, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis accused Minsk of using refugees as "hybrid weapon."