The EU’s border protection agency Frontex said Sunday it was deploying equipment and officers to Greece as an increasing number of migrants arrive at the country’s border with Turkey.
“Frontex is in close contact with Greek authorities regarding additional support we can provide. We are redeploying equipment and additional officers to Greece and closely monitoring the situation,” the agency wrote on Twitter.
Thousands of migrants have amassed at the border after Turkish officials said last week they would no longer work to stop migrants entering Europe, a stance reiterated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday.
Greek authorities registered about 9,600 attempted border crossings overnight, Greek Deputy Defense Minister Alkiviadis Stefanis said Sunday, according to local media. About 220 migrants arrived overnight on the island of Lesbos by boat.
The foreign affairs ministry accused Turkish authorities of giving false numbers on the number of migrants crossing, writing on Twitter that “10,000 people were prevented from entering Greek territory” between Saturday morning and Sunday morning.
A Frontex spokesperson said it was still unclear how many officers it would send to Greece because the agency was “still assessing the needs.” The spokesperson said Frontex was on “high alert” concerning the EU’s borders with Turkey and was monitoring the situation in Bulgaria, which also shares a land border with the country.
European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas tweeted Sunday he had requested an extraordinary meeting of EU interior ministers to “urgently” discuss the situation.
Nektaria Stamouli contributed reporting.