The EU toughens its sanctions against Belarus for the “political instrumentalization” of migrants


Migrants on the border between Belarus and Poland

The EU further toughens its policy against Belarus and has approved a new legal framework to carry out its fifth round of sanctions on the Lukashenko regime for the “instrumentalization for political purposes” of migrants at the European border.

This Monday, the Council of the EU met in its Foreign Affairs formation, with the representatives of the Twenty-seven. From this appointment has come the commitment to sanction “individuals and entities that organize or contribute to activities of the Lukashenko regime that facilitate the illegal crossing of the external borders of the EU.”

The community decision involves going further in the recipients and severity of these sanctions, which currently have reached 166 people, including the president, Alexandr Lukashenko, and his son and National Security adviser, Viktor Lukashenko, as well as 15 entities . Until now, their character had been limited, they had consisted of bans on traveling to Community territory and the freezing of their assets in the EU.

“Today’s decision reflects the determination of the European Union to confront the instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes. We are rejecting this inhumane and illegal practice. At the same time, we continue to underline the unacceptable repression by the regime against its own population in the country, and we will respond accordingly ”, declared the high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell.

Faced with the actions of the Belarusian regime, which promotes flights from the Middle East to Minsk and then takes passengers to the borders of Belarus with Lithuania, Poland or Latvia, the EU today decided to go one step further.

Lukashenko pulls threats

The Lukashenko regime recently cut gas transit to the EU in the event of new sanctions and ordered monitoring of NATO and Polish “troop movements” on the border.

“The Foreign Ministry must warn everyone in Europe. If they apply new sanctions against us, we must respond, ”said the Belarusian leader last week. “They have started to scare us with the fifth package (of sanctions),” he said, before asking Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko to “forgive anything” to the bloc.

At the end of October, EU leaders already said that they would not accept “attempts by third countries to instrumentalize migrants for political purposes” and condemned “all hybrid attacks on the EU borders”. They also assured that they would respond “accordingly.”

This Monday, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis went further and asked to make Minsk airport a “no-fly zone”. “At least for the moment we have to make sure that no aircraft that could potentially bring people with the intention of migrating, crossing the border illegally, can land in Minsk or at any Belarusian airport. It is crucial to do that ”, he stressed.

Source: by

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