The European Union will impose sanctions on Belarus over the migrant crisis in the “days to come” after the foreign ministers of the bloc gave their support, Brussels senior diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday.
After meeting with ministers, Borrell said the new sanctions would hit “a large enough number” of individuals and entities to “facilitate illegal border crossings into the EU”.
“By broadening the scope of sanctions, we can target those responsible for exploiting vulnerable migrants,” Borrell said.
Diplomats said the new sanctions should target around 30 Belarusian officials, the national airline and travel agencies accused of helping to transport migrants to the border.
Met with Foreign Minister of #Belorussia Makei to raise the precarious humanitarian situation on the border with the EU. People’s lives must be protected and humanitarian agencies must have access to them.
The current situation is unacceptable and must end. People should not be used as weapons.
– Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) November 14, 2021 Thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, camp in dire conditions on the Belarusian-Polish border, trapped in a perilous standoff with Minsk.
>> Read more on InfoMigrants: “Lies, lies, lies!
The West accuses the government of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the crisis in retaliation for earlier sanctions by encouraging migrants to travel to Minsk and helping them to the border.
Brussels has pushed major transit centers such as Turkey and Dubai to stop flights to Minsk in order to stem the flow of migrants to the country.
The EU is also pushing the United Nations to intervene to offer assistance to men, women and children at the Belarusian border.
The bloc has already placed 166 people linked to the regime – including Lukashenko and his sons – on a blacklist for cracking down on opponents since the disputed elections last year.
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