An explosive situation is emerging on the borders of Greece with Turkey. According to the official representative of the Greek government, Stelios Petsas, on the night of Saturday, February 29, an attempt was made to break through more than 4 thousand migrants to Greece from Turkey in the Evros area. 66 arrests were made.
There are reports that from the coast of Turkey to Greece are preparing to sail and are already moving towards the Greek island of Lesbos, ships with 150 thousand immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.
вЂњGreece became the goal of an organized, massive, illegal attempt to violate the border and withstood it,вЂќ said Petsas after an emergency meeting of the Greek National Security Council. The meeting was chaired by the Head of Government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and National Defense, the Chief of the General Staff, and the heads of the border services.
The representative of the Greek government, noting that Greece is facing an вЂњextreme threat to national security,вЂќ directly accused Turkey of organizing an invasion of migrants. вЂњThis movement is directed and encouraged by Turkey. These actions are in violation of the obligations arising from the Joint Declaration of the European Union вЂ” Turkey. Instead of blocking traffickers in migrants and refugees, Turkey itself has become a trafficker. вЂќ
According to Stelios Petsas, not only the police and security forces but also army units have been thrown to guard the borders in order to repel the invasion of hordes of migrants. 52 ships of the Navy and Coast Guard patrol the sea in the east of the Aegean Islands, where ships with migrants from Turkey move. A government spokesman emphasized that not one of the 66 arrested at the border in Evros arrived from the Idlib region of Syria, where Turkish troops are fighting. All those arrested are from Afghanistan and Africa.
At a meeting of the Greek Security Council, emergency measures were announced to strengthen security on the country's eastern, land and sea borders. The issuance of asylum permits for persons illegally arriving in Greece has been temporarily suspended. It was decided to immediately take measures to return to the country of origin those who illegally enter Greek territory without registration. It was also decided to notify the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union вЂњof the need to take measures in favor of the Hellenic Republic in response to a sudden emergency situation of the influx of third-country nationals ...вЂќ.
An alarm is being struck in Brussels. At the request of the Greek Minister, Nikos Dendias, the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell, convened an extraordinary meeting of European Union foreign ministers to discuss the situation on the external borders of the EU. In a statement made by Borrel, he noted that conflicts in the Syrian province of Idlib constitute вЂњa serious threat to international peace and stabilityвЂќ; The European Union must вЂњredouble its efforts to overcome this terrible humanitarian crisis by all means available to it.вЂќ
A critical situation is developing on the Greek islands, near those areas of Turkey that are crowded with migrants. About 500 people arrived during the day in plastic boats to the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, and Samos. Most of them are Africans, who, according to them, paid $1,500-2,000 to the merchants who transported them. These people lived in the vicinity of Istanbul for several months, and a few days ago they were told that they were going вЂњto Europe.вЂќ When officers of the Greek coast guard suggested that their Turkish colleagues return the migrants, then, according to eyewitnesses from the Greek side, the Turks on board the ships that brought the people only вЂњlaughed at the Greek officers, shouting to them:вЂќ Good luck! вЂњ.
Meanwhile, the indignant population of the islands is already rebelling. According to the stones newspaper published in Lesbos, local residents block roads, block the port, and clash with the police; arson of temporary centers for the reception of migrants took place. Protesters detained the head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Representatives of local authorities participate in rallies of protest of islanders. Lesbos Mayor Stratis Kitelis called on residents of the city and region to gather on access roads leading to the port. вЂњThis shame must end!вЂќ He declared.
According to observers, sending refugee flows to Greece, Erdogan decided to carry out his threat вЂ” to вЂњopen the gatesвЂќ for refugees to Europe, while the US and NATO support Turkey in its actions in Idlib. However, the Greeks emphasize that there are no immigrants from Idlib in the stream of refugees.
The representative of the US Department of State limited himself to calling on both sides to вЂњexercise restraint as this situation develops on the Greek-Turkish border.вЂќ