Lithuania to propose sanctions on Belarus for flying illegal migrants to EU border

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Lithuanian border guards detain migrants illegally crossing the border from Belarus to Lithuania, in Kalviai

By Andrius Sytas

VILNIUS (Reuters) - Lithuania will propose on Monday expanding European Union sanctions on Belarus for sending illegal migrants across the border into the EU, its foreign affairs minister's spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.

"We will propose to consider gradually expanding sectorial sanctions", the spokeswoman said. European Union foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels on Friday.

Lithuania began building a 550-km (320-mile) razor wire barrier on its border with Belarus on Friday, after accusing Belarusian authorities of flying in migrants from abroad to send them illegally into the European Union. It says hundreds of mainly Iraqi migrants have crossed the frontier in recent days after being brought there by Belarus.

(Reporting by Andrius Sytas in Vilnius; Editing by Peter Graff)

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