European Union home affairs ministers will discuss a surge of illegal border crossings from Belarus to EU member state Lithuania at an extraordinary meeting on Aug. 18, the Slovenian EU presidency said on Friday.

 Poland and Lithuania on Friday called on European institutions to help them deal with a surge in illegal migration from Belarus over their borders, as tensions between EU countries and Minsk continues to grow.

The European Union’s executive branch proposed Wednesday to tighten visa restrictions on members of President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime as allegations mount that Belarus is using migrants to destabilize the 27-country bloc.

Poland summoned the Belarusian charge d'affaires on Friday, a foreign ministry spokesman said, after border guards accused the Belarusian side of shooting at Polish soldiers patrolling the frontier.

  • Sanctions may be response to expulsion of French diplomat
  • EU says Belarus deceiving migrants by promising new life in EU
  • EU also mulling sanctions on Belarus foreign minister

Polish divers found the body of a 19-year-old Syrian man in a river on the Polish-Belarusian border on Wednesday, state news agency PAP reported, citing police and border guards.

In an atmosphere where Turkey is being criticized for the slow pace of its EU reforms, the country refuses to sign a declaration calling all states to take steps to stop the criminalization of homosexuality, contradicting its commitments to the EU in promoting human rights

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's support for a boycott of French goods is a further setback to Turkey's already stalled bid to join the EU, the European Commission said Tuesday.

The European Union said Tuesday that Turkey’s negotiations on joining the world’s biggest trade bloc shouldn’t be accelerated because of its failure to uphold democratic standards, protect the independence of its courts and effectively fight corruption.

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