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Crisis on the EU-Belarus border. Sanctions against Belarus – meeting of foreign ministers

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Before the meeting of the European Union’s foreign ministers in Brussels, the foreign ministers spoke about the main topic, namely Belarus and the sanctions against the regime. The head of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haiko Mass, called on airline representatives not to become involved in illegal practices related to migrants. – Whoever does not do it, must take into account severe sanctions – he announced.

The European Union’s foreign ministers are to decide on Monday to extend the legal framework for sanctions against the Belarusian regime. Before the meeting, the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell said that the EU hopes to extend sanctions to airlines, travel agencies and other entities involved in the transport of migrants to Belarus.

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“Poland deserves our complete solidarity in this situation”

Before the meeting, other foreign ministers of the member states also talked to journalists. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that “it should be made very clear that it is not Poland that is the source of the problems at the border, but Belarus”. – Poland deserves our complete solidarity in this situation – he announced.

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Asked about provocations by the Belarusian army and the risk of an armed conflict, he replied: – We can see that soldiers on the Belarusian side are trying to allow migrants to get across the border. I think that there is enough prudence and awareness of responsibility on the Polish side not to be drawn into an armed confrontation – he assessed.

– We will make efforts in the countries of origin to prevent migrants from being allowed on board airplanes there. However, we will not avoid the (necessity) of dealing with the airlines. Airlines such as Turkish Airlines have shown that you can stay away from this illegal practice, Maas said.

We can see that soldiers on the Belarusian side are trying to allow migrants to get across the border. I think that there is enough prudence and awareness of responsibility on the Polish side not to be drawn into an armed confrontation.

He called on all airlines to do likewise. – Whoever does not, must take into account severe sanctions. The situation is so dramatic that we can no longer exclude the introduction of bans on the use of airspace or permits for landing on European territory, warned the German Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis called on all Belarusian airports to be closed to airlines potentially carrying potential migrants. He also offered to help Lithuania repatriate people from Belarus back to the Middle East.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the first is sanctions, the second is to provide assistance to Ukraine

The meeting organized at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union on the initiative of Poland with the ministers of the EU “27” was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, who provided information on the security situation in Ukraine.

– We should not treat the Russian expansion of the armed forces and aggressive intentions towards Ukraine in isolation from other elements of the Russian strategy in Europe, including the artificial migration crisis on the borders with Poland and Lithuania, the growing use of gas supplies as a weapon against the European Union and a large disinformation campaign in the countries A Union that is to build divisions within the Union’s societies, as well as between societies and governments, he said.

Heiko Maas on the leftEPA

He argued that these challenges posed by Russia must be responded to. – All ministers of the European Union expressed their full support and solidarity with Ukraine. I have proposed a number of steps that the EU can take to offer practical help to Ukraine, he said, stressing that he had conveyed to EU ministers that the EU should act and that it would be the best message to Moscow.

– If you start preparing actions, such as new sanctions against Russia, there will be a message for them (the Russian side) that if they want to move forward, you will be immediately ready to make decisions that will be costly for Russia, he explained.

– The first thing is sanctions, the second is to provide Ukraine with the help it will need to strengthen it. The European Union is not a military alliance, but there are many things it can do, he emphasized.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / OLIVIER HOSLET



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