The Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) have agreed on the introduction of the fifth package of sanctions on Belarus, which will be finalized in the coming days. This was stated by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, following the meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, November 15.
“We have agreed on the introduction of a new package of sanctions, it should be finalized in the coming days,” he said.
Borrell also added that with the expansion of the criteria for the sanctions regime, the EU will now be able to include in the sanctions the defendants involved in the delivery of migrants to Belarus and to the EU borders. In turn, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Kouveni pointed out that the EU sanctions against Belarus will include the termination of leasing contracts with Belavia.
In addition, the head of EU diplomacy said that Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, in a telephone conversation with him, rejected any responsibility of the country for the migration crisis on the border with Poland.
The fact that the EU had come to an agreement on sanctions against Minsk earlier on Monday was announced by the head of the Latvian Foreign Ministry Edgars Rinkevics. According to him, the package of sanctions will concern Belarusian officials, companies, including aviation companies, which, according to Brussels, are involved in organizing the crisis with migrants.
The State Border Committee of Belarus noted on the same day that the statements of the European Union that Belarus was involved in organizing illegal migration are rather strange. It was noted that about 5 thousand foreign citizens who entered the country legally during this period, after preventive measures aimed at preventing violations of migration legislation, left the territory of Belarus. In addition, about 8 thousand people were not allowed into the territory of Belarus.
Prior to that, on November 12, Great Britain, the United States and the EU states agreed that the Belarusian authorities had artificially created a migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
A day later, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko denied any involvement in financing illegal migration. In addition, the Belarusian leader noted that not a single plane of the national Belarusian air carrier Belavia brought migrants from the Middle East to Belarus.
On November 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that accusations of Russia’s involvement in the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus are “an attempt to shift problems from a sore head to a healthy one.” He also called on countries to deal with their own internal problems, and not shift their own issues to others.
The situation with migrants on the border of the EU countries and Belarus escalated on November 8. Then a large group of refugees in Belarus came to the Polish border. Migrants cut barbed wire at the border of the two countries. On November 9, Poland announced a tough attack on the border for the first time in 30 years.
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