Belarus border nations ‘should be able to detain asylum seekers for 16 weeks’

EU chiefs call for emergency measure to tackle crisis they say was created by Alexander Lukashenko

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia should be allowed to hold people in special asylum processing centres at the border with Belarus for up to 16 weeks, the EU executive has said, in an emergency loosening of standards to help deal with what it calls a hybrid attack from Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

The European Commission’s top officials said the three EU member states needed flexibility to deal with an unprecedented situation, but critics hit back that Brussels was “building the walls of fortress Europe” ever higher.

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