(Washington, DC) — The Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) voices deep concern regarding provocations manufactured by the Lukashenka regime in Belarus – with the active support of the Russian Federation – along Belarus’ border with Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. 

Refugees are being cruelly weaponized on the Eastern borders of the European Union as political pawns and tools of hybrid warfare. The Lukashenka regime and its Kremlin puppet masters are further exposed as criminal and destabilizing influencers in Eastern Europe with these actions that are beyond the pale of human rights abuse.

In recent months, Belarusian security forces have been deliberately facilitating and profiting from the illegal smuggling of refugee claimants through Belarus in a deliberate attempt to force their illegal entry into the European Union via Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania. This effort is widely acknowledged as a political response to the support that the Belarusian opposition has received from these and other EU countries. They continue to stand up against the regime’s election fraud perpetrated in the aftermath of the 2020 Belarusian presidential election, and in its support for free Belarusian civil society leaders, activists, and journalists.

We condemn the Lukashenka regime’s escalating abuse of human rights and stand in solidarity with our NATO allies and partners as they face this unprecedented provocation. We also take this opportunity to remind the Biden administration that this effort is part of a broader plan by the Putin and Lukashenka regimes to destabilize NATO and the European Union. This comes at a time when Moscow is amassing Russian troops on Ukraine’s border, as well as waging energy blackmail, including with the newly constructed Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It is all part of a coordinated Kremlin campaign to weaken the unity and resolve of the West.  We must remember that similar provocations led to the Russian occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and we, therefore, urge our governments to stand resolutely with the European Union in opposing this latest act of aggression.

We issue this statement in coordination with our partners the Central and East European Council in Canada.

The CEEC represents over 20 million Americans of Central and Eastern European heritage.

American Hungarian Federation • American Latvian Association in the U.S. • Armenian Assembly of America • Belarusian-American Association • Bulgarian Institute for Research and Analysis • Congress of Romanian Americans • Washington Chapter Czechoslovak National Council of America • Estonian American National Council • Georgian Association in the USA • Hungarian American Coalition • Joint Baltic American National Committee • Lithuanian American Council • Lithuanian American Community • National Federation of American Hungarians • Polish American Congress • Slovak League of America • Ukrainian Congress Committee of America • Ukrainian National Association

ceecadvocacy.org |  c/o Polish American Congress, 1612 K Street NW Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20006  |  ceecoalition@gmail.com

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