GR US

Frontex Launches Deployment of Help to Greece, Willing to Expand It if Needed

Αssociated Press

A Greek soldier watches from a guard post a migrant at Maritsa river (Evros river in Greek) near Edirne, at the Turkish-Greek border on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ATHENS - Frontex has launched the rapid border intervention (RABIT) Greece requested on Sunday to deal with the large numbers of migrants at the EU's external borders, the European border agency said at an extraordinary meeting held at its headquarters in Warsaw on Tuesday.

It also expressed its full support of Greece, while it "stands ready to further extend its support for Greece to other operational areas and/or type of assistance within Frontex mandate," it said on Tuesday.

In its statement, it said the agency "fully supports Greece in addressing the current situation at its external borders towards Turkey and to act in the spirit of European solidarity; deploys the rapid border intervention requested by Greece and decided by the executive director (...); stands ready to further extend its support for Greece to other operational areas and/or type of assistance within Frontex mandate; and asks the agency and Greece and Bulgaria to continuously assess the needs in a sustainable way."

The statement added that EU member states "confirm their readiness to provide their respective mandatory contributions under the Rapid Reaction Pool and technical assets under the Rapid Reaction Equipment Pool complemented by additional pledges from the Technical Equipment Pool"

The Frontex management board is composed of representatives of the heads of the border authorities of EU member states that are signatories of the Schengen acquis, plus two members of the European Commission.