Posted on June 6, 2023

Poland, Lithuania Fear New Migrant Crisis Due to Belarus’ Offer of Visa-Free Travel

Associated Press, June 2, 2023

Belarus is introducing a visa-free travel arrangement with dozens of countries for a month, raising fears that neighboring Poland and Lithuania might see a sudden increase in unauthorized migration.

The authoritarian president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, signed a decree allowing citizens of 73 countries — including ones in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America — to travel to Belarus without a visa to attend an annual music festival he personally opens to promote his nation’s global integration.


The governments of Lithuania and Poland see the move as a threat that will bring another influx of migrants, such as those who massed at borders with the European Union in the thousands in 2021 {snip}

The governments of Lithuania and Poland accuse the Belarusian authorities of orchestrating the earlier situation. Stanislaw Zaryn, the acting deputy to Poland’s minister coordinator of special services, charged that Russia and Belarus might try to repeat it {snip}

He alleged the goal was to destabilize Europe {snip}