Hundreds of immigrants left the border between Poland and Belarus and went to Minsk to take the plane back home. I haveand they had given all their savings to get closer to Western Europe. But instead of arriving in Germany, they spent a few weeks in a forest in Belarus, cold, rainy and without food. During this time, Minsk used them and tried to blackmail the European Union. Many immigrants continue to hope that if they still get here, they may still be able to enter the European Union.

Belarus is still trying to bargain with the European Union, believing it will still get something out of blackmailing immigrants. Minsk wants the European Union to take in 2,000 migrants and promises to repatriate another 5,000 migrants to their countries in order to resolve the current border crisis with Poland. The announcement was made on Thursday by Natalia Eismont, spokeswoman for President Aleksandr Lukashenko, quoted by BelTA news agency. “The European Union is creating a humanitarian corridor for 2,000 refugees who are camped at the border. We are committed to facilitating (as much as possible and if they want) the return of the other 5,000 to their country “, said Eismont.

For now, Reuters says, it is unclear whether the proposal will be accepted by the EU, especially as Minsk sets conditions for the repatriation of the 5,000 migrants. Earlier, the European Commission had stressed that there was no question of a possible negotiation with Lukashenko.

An immigrant plane left Minsk for Iraq on Monday

Belarusian authorities on Thursday evacuated the two main immigrant camps on the border with Poland, bringing the remaining migrants into the forest and placing them in a nearby depot, Belarus state news agency BelTA was quoted as saying on Thursday.

If the information is confirmed, it could be an important evolution in the border crisis, which in recent weeks has turned into a major confrontation between East and West, mentions Reuters.

Meanwhile, a first plane took off from Minsk bound for Baghdad on Thursday, with migrants on board who were stranded on the border between Belarus and Poland, the administration of the airport in the Belarusian capital announced.

After sleeping in the open air at low temperatures, Belarusian immigrants were accommodated in a warehouse Photo: Profimedia Images

According to the spokeswoman for the leader Alexander Lukashenko, Natalia Eismont, there were 374 passengers on board the Iraqi Airways plane, most of them Iraqis. “We keep our promises, although the EU has not yet fulfilled a single obligation,” the spokeswoman said, according to Agerpres.

It is the first repatriation of immigrants from Belarus since August, Reuters notes.

Lukashenko used immigrants to blackmail the EU

Thousands of migrants, most of them from the Middle East, have been stranded for weeks, in low temperatures, along the border between Belarus and Poland, in the hope that they will be able to enter EU territory.

Read also: The drama of a migrant family. They are both injured and say their one-year-old child died on the border between Belarus and Poland

The European Union accuses Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating a massive increase in migrant arrivals on the border between Belarus, on the one hand, and Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, on the other. This increase came following the EU’s adoption of sanctions against Belarus following human rights abuses and the August presidential election last year, which were vehemently challenged by the Belarusian opposition and the West.

The EU has imposed new economic sanctions on Belarus after Minsk authorities forced an Irish low-cost airline Ryanair to land in order to arrest a dissident on board.

Subsequently, migrants mainly from Iraq, DR Congo and Cameroon began to appear on Belarus’s border with Lithuania, and then on the borders with Latvia and Poland.

Belarus is elected with new sanctions

On Monday, EU foreign ministers agreed to impose new sanctions on Belarus in the context of the migration crisis across EU borders. “This package of sanctions, the fifth, will be finalized in the coming days, and Romania is among the states that co-sponsor this package of sanctions against the Minsk regime,” Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu told Digi24 .

“We are witnessing, on behalf of the Minsk regime, the use of these migrants, who are being brought to Belarus in an organized way from various countries in Africa, the Middle East, and then being brought, also in an organized way, to the border either between Belarus and Poland, or on the border between this country and Lithuania and Latvia “, Bogdan Aurescu explained. He said that in the face of such a situation, “all EU foreign ministers, who met on Monday in Brussels, agreed to adopt a new set of sanctions against the Minsk regime, aimed at those responsible, those officials who are involved in this effort of use, of illegal instrumentation of migrants in order to put pressure on the European Union “, pointed out the head of the Romanian diplomacy. “It is about a list of people who will be subject to these sanctions, but also a series of economic agents, probably tourist companies, there is also talk of airports that are involved in this process of political instrumentalization of migrants,” said Bogdan Aurescu .

The United States also announced on Monday that it is preparing new sanctions against Belarus, “in coordination with the European Union,” to denounce the inhumane exploitation of migratory flows.

Editor: Luana Pavaluca

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