More officers from the EU’s border agency are set to deploy to Lithuania amid the recent spike in irregular migration, according to an adviser to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda.
"As you know, 30 of them have already come to Lithuania. And more are expected to come," Asta Skaisgirytė, the chief presidential adviser on foreign policy issues, told LRT RADIO on Thursday without providing more details.
The European Border and Coast Guard Service (Frontex) has deployed 30 officers to Lithuania amid some 100 migrants crossing from Belarus each day, with some 1,400 people detained this year so far. In comparison, 81 people were detained in the whole year of 2020, 46 in 2019, and 104 in 2018.
Skaisgirytė says the president raised the issue of migrants coming in from Belarus during the recent European Council meeting, and has "really received support and understanding".
According to the presidential adviser, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis responded to Lithuania's requests for help and said that Greece could share its experience.
"Help from everyone is very much welcome. Of course, it has to be done as soon as possible," Skaisgirytė said.
Meanwhile, critics including the speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, have pointed out that Lithuania failed to show solidarity during the migration crisis in Greece and Italy.
"Only six years have passed, and from a country that pretended not to see the problem and not to be able to help other EU countries, we today have become those requesting support," Čmilytė-Nielsen said on Facebook on Monday.
On July 2, Lithuania declared a state-level emergency due to the recent surge in irregular migration, with officials saying it is a campaign organised by the Belarusian regime against Lithuania.