Lithuania has begun construction of new barrier along its border with Belarus amid a surge of illegal migrants entering the Baltic nation, according to reports.
On Wednesday, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Shimonyte announced plans to erect "an additional physical barrier that separates Lithuania and Belarus."
The move comes in response to a substantial uptick in migrant traffic which began after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to allow migrants and drugs to flood Europe amid fraying diplomatic relations with the European Union earlier this year.
"The initial stage of construction will add less than half a mile to the 48 miles already in place, but officials say they plan to extend the physical barrier to cover other sections of the 421 mile border between the neighbouring former Soviet states," Reuters reports.
Hundreds of migrants hailing primarily from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Africa have illegally entered Lithuania in recent weeks, as Infowars Europe has reported.
"We assess the process itself as hybrid aggression, which is directed not against Lithuania but against the entire European Union," Prime Minister Shimonyte said.
"Belarusian regime agencies are actively and passively involved in organizing the flow of illegal migrants. The conditions for crossing the border are created deliberately and we tend to see behind that, among other things, the purpose to harm our state and destabilize the situation."
Lithuanian officials say a steady stream of migrants are arriving aboard flights to Minsk and have accused the Belarusian government of helping them travel onwards to destinations inside the E.U.
In June, Lithuania began building a temporary asylum shelter designed to house up to 1,000 people.
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