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Migration crisis in Belarus The European Union is preparing for more sanctions «kleinezeitung.at

Migration crisis in Belarus The European Union is preparing for more sanctions «kleinezeitung.at

Poland sees a danger to ‘the whole European Union’ – Austrian politicians demand a role for the EU in finding a solution to the refugee problem

4:25 pm, November 9, 2021

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Belarus is playing a bad game with refugees © (c) AFP (WOJTEK RADWANSKI)

In response to the current situation on the eastern border of the European Union, the European Union is in parts signed an agreement on visa facilitation with Belarus, Of interest to system administrators. The European Union is preparing for more sanctions to limit the transfer of potential refugees to Belarus. According to diplomats, these sanctions can already be implemented Officially decided at the meeting of European Union foreign ministers next Monday.

The sanctions discussed should enable, among other things, to compel EU-based companies to terminate all commercial relations with immediate effect. To hire the Belarusian airline Belavia. One consequence of this is that aircraft leasing companies will have to reclaim aircraft loaned to the airline. In addition, tour operators and airlines from third countries can also be targeted. Something was openly discussed about the role of the Turkish airline Turkish Airlines (THY), which, according to the flight schedule, flies to Belarus ten times a month. Currently, there are one or two direct flights from Turkish Airlines to Minsk from Istanbul per day. Turkish Airlines denied media reports on Tuesday and contradicted the claim that the airline was targeting migrants from Turkey to Belarus.

Aeroflot also affected?

Aside from Belavia and Turkish Airlines, there was also a possibility in press reports The role of Aeroflot Russian Airlines I speculated on refugee trips to Belarus. An EU Commission spokesperson commented on the reports that Brussels was “investigating flights from Russia and the possible involvement of Russia in general”.

The European Union hopes to be able to reduce the number of people who come to Belarus from poor or conflict-ridden countries by applying pressure and imposing sanctions on airlines. The country’s leadership is accused of deliberately bringing migrants into the country in order to then bring them to the border with Poland to travel to the European Union. The assumption is that Governor Alexander Lukashenko wants to avenge himself on the sanctions imposed by the European Union for the suppression of civil society and democratic opposition.

Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have reported thousands of illegal border crossings from Belarus in the past few months. The European Union accuses Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately allowing people from the Middle East to enter Belarus and the external borders of the European Union. In Brussels, Lukashenko is suspected of trying to avenge the Brussels sanctions that were passed in connection with the crackdown on protests in 2020.

On Tuesday, the Belarusian government rejected international allegations against the country. “We would like to warn the Polish side in advance against using any provocations directed against the Republic of Belarus to justify possible illegal military actions against the dispossessed and defenseless (…),” a foreign ministry statement said in Minsk on Tuesday.

Lithuania, which borders Belarus in the north, wanted to impose a month-long state of emergency in the border region on Tuesday in light of the acute situation at the EU’s external borders. The government of the Baltic European Union member state submitted a resolution to Parliament in Vilnius for approval on Tuesday. Therefore the state of emergency should be applied from midnight along the border with Belarus and five kilometers inland as well as in migrant shelters.

“Human Rights Violation and Extortion”.

In Tuesday’s broadcast, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Leinhart (ÖVP) called Belarus’ approach to importing people and bringing them to the border a “human rights violation and extortion.” He explained that Austria’s full solidarity applies to Poland and Lithuania as two suffering countries. “We must stand together as the European Union and firmly defend ourselves. This will also include targeted actions against officials in Minsk,” he stressed.

Leinhart also welcomed European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas’ trip to the countries of origin and transit for refugees.. The Austrian foreign minister, who is currently traveling in Central Asia, said, “We have to warn people who are voluntarily being held hostage by a totalitarian regime to set off. They are being mistreated as a nameless block in a cynical game.” .

Interior Minister Karl Nehamer (ÖVP) emphasized on Tuesday that “the EU Commission must support Poland in securing the EU’s external borders and providing the funds for a strong border fence”. On the other hand, Nahamer commented that providing assistance in immigrant registration is a completely wrong signal.

Defense Minister Claudia Tanner (ÖVP) commented on Tuesday that the EU should take one last action here and the solution to the problem should not be left to Poland alone. “Turning away and looking the other way is no longer an option,” she said, calling for “a common EU external border guard”.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Organization for Migration were concerned on Tuesday about conditions in the border area. They called on both governments to allow humanitarian workers unimpeded access to those stranded. It must be ascertained who needs protection and assistance must be given to those who wish to apply for asylum. “The exploitation of migrants and refugees as a tool to achieve political goals is regrettable and must stop,” they said. It is unacceptable to exploit the desperation of migrants and refugees and make it unrealistic and misleading.

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