Belarus: Maas announces new restrictions in migration dispute

Belarus: Maas announces new restrictions in migration dispute

IIn the migration dispute with Belarus, the EU will impose new sanctions in the coming week, according to Acting Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). At a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, sanctions will be extended to those who “indirectly or directly” support the smuggling of migrants into Belarus, Maas told the “Rheinische Post” and the “Bonner General-Figer”. Told on (Saturday). Edition). Maas also did not rule out sanctions against participating airlines.

“We have to make sure this chain of smugglers is interrupted,” Maas told newspapers on migration to the EU’s eastern outer border, which is apparently controlled by Belarusian authorities. Very soon there will be a comprehensive list of approved persons. The European Union accused Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately smuggling people from the Middle East into the EU to retaliate against sanctions adopted by Brussels.

In controversy, Maas had already announced that sanctions against Belarus would be tightened. The foreign minister now emphasized that airlines may also have to expect punitive measures. “All airlines need to know who is guilty of complicity in criminal smuggling that will face consequences, including sanctions for overflight rights or landing permits.”

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Under pressure from the European Union, Turkey will no longer allow citizens of several Arab states to fly to Belarus from its national territory. Turkey’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Friday that people with Syrian, Iraqi and Yemeni passports are not allowed to purchase tickets or board until further notice.

Belarusian state airline Belavia is affected. Earlier there was a similar order from Ankara, The airline announced on Friday. Therefore, the flight ban will come into effect from Friday.

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The European Union had previously threatened sanctions against airlines carrying migrants to Belarus with the intention of traveling to the EU illegally.

Turkish Airlines will also have to react

According to an EU official, one-way tickets for flights from Turkey to Minsk will no longer be sold. Belavia will no longer be able to use Turkish Airlines’ Middle East network to fly passengers from Istanbul to Minsk, it said.

The airline came under fire after media reports that Turkey was targeting expatriates in Belarus with the help of Turkish Airlines. The Polish government and the European Union accused ruler Alexander Lukashenko of allowing migrants to be brought into the country so that they could be smuggled into the EU.

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Migrants on the border with Belarus

Turkish Airlines denied the allegations. However, the airline would now have threatened EU sanctions if it had not participated in the crackdown on illegal migration. For example, he could have been banned from EU flights.

To enable such measures, EU states have agreed over the past few days to a new sanctions instrument against airlines and other parties involved in illegal smuggling activities. A formal decision on this is to be made next Monday at the meeting of EU foreign ministers. In the next step, specific penalties can then be imposed.

With the measures already in place, the EU expects fewer people from poor or conflict-ridden countries to come to Belarus. The leadership in Minsk is accused of deliberately bringing migrants into the country to bring them to the border with Poland to travel to the European Union. The assumption is that ruler Alexander Lukashenko wants to avenge the sanctions that the European Union has imposed due to civil society repression and democratic opposition.

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Very tense situation on the border

Apart from Poland, the Federal Republic of Germany is also heavily influenced by the development. This is because most of the expatriates who make it across the border into Poland travel to Germany.

The situation on the border between Belarus and Poland remained tense on Friday as well. According to police reports, Polish security forces intervened several times during the night to prevent illegal border crossings. The PAP agency quoted local police spokesman Tomasz Kripa as saying that Belarusian troops tried to force a group of about 35 migrants across the border near the town of Kuznica on Thursday evening.

Accordingly, the majority of the migrants were women and children. Most of the information from the border region cannot be verified as independent journalists have been denied access so far.

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expatriates from Belarus

Border fence with EU funds

It said the group of migrants was led to a barbed wire border system. Polish police officers, border guards and soldiers prevented them from crossing the border. According to Polish police, there are still about 200 people in the area who are guarded by Belarusian troops.

The measures taken now have been agreed by Turkish officials with a team led by European Union Council President Charles Michel, it said in Brussels. The European Union is also preparing to further tighten existing sanctions in the conflict.

They should be directed against about 30 airlines, travel agencies or other responsible persons who support Belarus in smuggling refugees towards the EU. Passengers affected by the ban can now return their tickets at the place of sale and get their money back.

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Brandenburg wants to take strong action against unauthorized entry

According to information received from Brandenburg, the three federal states on the border with Poland are urging strong action against unauthorized entry into Germany through Belarus and Poland. Ministry circles in Potsdam said on Friday that Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stubgen (CDU) and his allies from Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania want to call for explicit measures against Belarus at the interior ministers’ conference in Stuttgart in early December. . In addition, systematic reception of asylum seekers is essential. Countries that refuse to take back migrants should be threatened with consequences in terms of development aid.

According to the Federal Police, an average of more than 100 unauthorized migrants are still arriving in Germany through Belarus and Poland every day; The federal police believe the situation is not getting easier.

After the introduction of central registration with the help of the federal government, the position of the Brandenburg initial reception center in Eisenhuttenstadt is no longer as difficult as it was a few weeks ago. According to the interior ministry, 1,210 of the 3950 places are occupied, which accounts for about 31 per cent. A week ago, 1535 places were still occupied (39 percent), up from 2026 places (51 percent) on October 29. Brandenburg accepts only refugees living there. The tents erected as a precaution are expected to be dismantled at Eisenhuttenstadt, and a gym to be re-used for the games.

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