The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, called on Afghanistan’s northern neighbors to help prevent the Belarusian regime from using migrants for political purposes. In Dushanbe, he talked with representatives of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan together with the EU commissioner Jutta Urpilainen. The representatives of Asian countries were presented with a financing plan for their activities related to, inter alia, with migration amounting to one billion euros.
Josep Borrell and the EU’s commissioner for international partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, met in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe with the heads of diplomacy of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as with Turkmenistan’s deputy foreign minister.
– I informed the ministers about the situation at the borders of the European Union with Belarus. I asked for support in preventing people from being instrumentalised and risking their lives, Borrell reported during the briefing after the meeting, the course of the talks. He explained that he meant deceiving people by convincing them that a flight to Minsk would open the way for them to get to Europe.
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Jutta Urpilainen said she presented an EU plan to representatives of the former Soviet republics to support both Afghanistan and its neighbors, ranging from basic humanitarian aid to managing migration flows. It is expected to amount to one billion euros, half of which has been approved in advance as aid to the countries with which talks were held.
As Reuters points out, Urpilainen has not said whether Brussels expects these countries to accept any migrants in return for financial aid. According to the agency, the Central Asian countries do not show any particular willingness to do so.
In a joint communiqué, the participants of the talks agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation in the area of preventing illegal migrant movements and migrant smuggling. Hope was expressed for an intensive cooperation between the European Union and Central Asia in the field of border management.
Since the spring, the number of attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions has increased sharply. The European Union and the Member States emphasize that this is the result of the deliberate actions of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, which instrumentally uses migrants in response to EU sanctions.
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