European summit on immigrants from Belarus, new sanctions in preparation

European summit on immigrants from Belarus, new sanctions in preparation

European foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels today to discuss the migrant dispute with Belarus on the Polish-Belarus border. It is clear that new sanctions will be imposed on Belarus. Meanwhile, in countries outside the European Union, measures are being taken to rectify the situation.

The European Union has accused Belarusian President Lukashenko of deliberately bringing migrants to Belarus so that they can continue their journey to the European Union from there. It will be in response to the European sanctions previously imposed on Belarus, following the fraudulent presidential elections and human rights violations committed by the regime.

“Lukashenko wants us to end the sanctions,” German Minister Maas said. “Today we will respond: We are tightening the sanctions,” he added. European Commission President von der Leyen said Europe was “united and will respond quickly”.

The new measures should target people who make money from people smuggling. It also puts more economic sanctions on Belarus. Lithuania, which borders Belarus, wants to become a “no-fly zone” for migrant flights.

EU Foreign Affairs Coordinator Borrell expects a new sanctions package to be approved by ministers today. He stressed that the focus should be on the humanitarian situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

This Syrian immigrant spent more than a month in the woods on the border. From a Polish hospital she now tells her story:

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