Merkel-Lukashenka talks marginalise other EU member states: Lithuanian MEP

In an interview with TVP World, Petras Auštrevičius, a Lithuanian Member of the European Parliament said that if the current migrant crisis on the Polish border was to be discussed at all with Minsk, it should be done by the leaders of the EU, not by leaders of individual, bigger member states of the European Union.

Mr Auštrevičius stressed that the recent discussions undertaken by Chancellor Angela Merkel with Alyaksandr Lukashenka are seen as very controversial by Vilnius, as they undermine trust due to the fact that in the past, some deals between the big countries were made at the expense of smaller states. Deals between big countries marginalised smaller ones.

According to Petras Auštrevičius, Alyaksandr Lukashenka has achieved what he wanted - he got attention and recognition, while the EU is aware that he is holding power illegally. In Mr Auštrevičius’s opinion, conducting talks with Lukashenka means the legalisation of a fake ruler of Belarus.

The Lithuanian MEP noted that the migrant crisis has been ongoing since July and there is no reason to believe that Lukashenka will back down now. The attacks may reoccur very soon, perhaps in a different format, because Minsk will continue to challenge the EU and NATO repeatedly.

Asked about the recent deployments of troops by the UK and Estonia to the Polish eastern border, Mr Auštrevičius said that it sent a strong message to Minsk and Moscow that Poland was not alone. Poland is in a union with many European countries. It tells Lukashenka that he is not just provoking Warsaw or Vilnius or Riga, but the whole EU.

Mr Auštrevičius added that more declarations and actions of the common stand are needed from the EU, NATO and the transatlantic friend.