Alyaksandr Lukashenka is responsible for the suffering of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border, said the head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, in the Bundestag. – The problem in this matter is not Poland, the problem is Lukashenka. In this situation, Poland deserves our solidarity, European – he emphasized.
– We all know the terrifying images that come to us from the Belarusian border with Poland and the Baltic countries, and not only in the last few days – said the head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas during the plenary debate in the German parliament on the migration situation on the Belarusian border.
– Hundreds of people are stuck there at the border, commanded by the Belarusian security forces, which are now forcibly blocking their way back. Children, women and men camp in the freezing cold without proper outdoor clothing. In the meantime, people also died – he added.
“They want to put pressure on the European Union and individual member states”
– Mr Lukashenka and his helpers in Minsk are responsible for this suffering – emphasized Maas. – I would like to say here: regardless of other political discussions that we have in the European Union, the problem in this matter is not Poland, and sometimes I have such an impression in this debate, but the problem is Lukashenka, Belarus and the regime that is there. That is why Poland in this situation deserves our solidarity, European solidarity – he added.
The rulers in Minsk “are bringing migrants to Belarus under false pretenses to send them from there to the European Union. They use thousands of people as hostages in a cynical game of power without any qualms.” – They want to put pressure on the European Union and individual member states, such as Poland in particular, but also Lithuania, and they play with human life without scruples – said the minister.
Meanwhile, “the repressions against the Belarusian people continue. Since last year, the regime’s security forces have arrested thousands of people, the number of political prisoners has increased to over 800, and the dialogue with the opposition is not being conducted,” he recalled.
The head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to impose sanctions on Belarus
Minister Maas reiterated that “The European Union will extend and tighten sanctions against the Lukashenka regime. We will decide on this at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday. We will continue to impose sanctions on people and companies that take part in targeted smuggling anywhere in the world. In addition, other options are being considered, such as extending existing and other sanction regimes, in particular so-called sectoral or economic sanctions.
– In the past, it was said that too many economic sanctions would further deepen Belarus’ dependence on Russia. However, we are now in a situation where the consequences need to be clearer, said Maas. – That is why I believe that such important sectors of the economy as the potassium industry in Belarus must now be subject to sanctions. Most of the European Union supports this, he concluded.
At the end of his speech, the minister said: – In this situation, we express solidarity with our European partners in Poland and Lithuania. Recent events once again show that we need durable and humane solutions in the field of migration, that is, progress towards a common European asylum system that will address the causes of migration, protect European borders, but above all show solidarity. We will continue to strive for this at European level.
Main photo source: Kay Nietfeld / dpa / PAP