The head of Latvian diplomacy, Edgars Rinkevics, called for the imposition of further economic sanctions on Belarus. The aim is to increase the pressure on the regime of President Alexander Lukashenka, which the European Union accuses of smuggling illegal migrants to Poland and the Baltic states.
The EU foreign ministers meet in Luxembourg on Monday. One of the topics is the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. Poland is represented at the meeting by Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz.
The head of Latvian diplomacy Edgars Rinkevics said before the meeting that the imposition of sanctions on the Belarusian airline Belavia is one of the measures he hoped would be discussed at the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. – We must introduce stricter sanctions. This means restricting so-called travel companies that organize flights. I also believe that we must fully punish Belavia so that she cannot receive any support, said Rinkevics. The Reuters Agency said that Austria and the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, expressed support in this matter.
Borrell himself also admitted that “more resources” are needed regarding the actions by Belarus concerning migrants at the external border of the EU. – We will see what the member states decide – he said.
Poland told EU diplomats in Brussels on Friday that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime is still trying to destabilize Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and the entire EU at the border, consciously and cynically using immigrants, including children, for this purpose. The Polish ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, presented the ambassadors of the EU Member States with the current information on the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.
According to unofficial information, the discussion on this subject at the meeting of the ambassadors was long. Among others, representatives of Latvia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Belgium, Estonia, Greece and Hungary, as well as the European Commission, expressed their views. – All voices understood the seriousness of the situation – one of the diplomats told PAP after the meeting.
In Brussels, Poland emphasized that all persons detected by our services on the territory of the country are provided with the necessary assistance, including medical assistance. The diplomat also announced that the Belarusian authorities are conducting a large-scale disinformation campaign against Poland, blaming it for the situation on the border.
Ambassador Sadoś was to emphasize that Poland constantly appeals to international organizations, in particular to the relevant UN agencies – the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration, to take immediate action to resolve the situation in cooperation with Belarus. These appeals emphasize that the continuation of the actions of the Lukashenka regime and the further transfer of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to Belarus may have very serious consequences and lead to a humanitarian crisis in that country.
At the meeting, Poland also called for political support from the EU in order to counteract the disinformation campaign of the Belarusian authorities, according to which EU countries are responsible for the situation at the EU’s external borders.
Main photo source: TOMS KALNINS / EPA