The European Union is preparing new sanctions against Belarus following the migrant crisis on the border with Poland, diplomatic sources told Reuters. The measures would target 30 Belarusian officials and entities, including Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and Belavia.

The European Union and NATO accuse the Alexander Lukashenko regime of facilitating the transit of illegal immigrants into the EU due to tensions with the West.

The Council of the European Union is due to approve on Wednesday a resolution by which the Minsk regime’s actions to send immigrants to the border between Belarus and Poland will be classified as a “hybrid war”.

Subsequently, EU countries will extend the economic sanctions imposed on Belarus. 30 Belarusian officials and entities will be targeted, including Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and the national airline Belavia.

Belavia is already being sanctioned, banned from flying in the European Union, after the Minsk regime forced the landing of a Ryanair plane to arrest a dissident journalist.

The EU is now preparing new direct sanctions, so Belavia will no longer be able to rent aircraft from companies in Romania, Ireland and Denmark, according to Reuters. However, EU leaders are debating whether the new sanctions will apply to future or existing leases.

Polish authorities on Monday accused Minsk of trying to trigger a major confrontation, after images posted on social media showed thousands of migrants heading to the border between Belarus and Poland.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Belarus to stop using migrants as political weapons and stressed that Member States would approve new sanctions against the Belarusian regime. At the same time, the European Commission on Tuesday accused Belarus of acting as a “gangster regime” and criticized Lukashenko’s “false promises”, which tricked migrants into believing they would gain EU membership.

Editor : I.C

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