EU imposes sanctions for bringing migrants through Belarus

The new penalties are designed to prevent Lukashenko from delivering migrants to the external borders of the European Union. Among others, the airline Belavia will fall under the sanctions.

Thursday, December 2, new EU sanction

s against those involved in the delivery of migrants in Belarus for their further transfer to the external borders of the European Union, come into force. December 1, a committee of permanent representatives of the EU member-states unanimously supported a package of related penalties, which must now be approved by the EU Council. Publication of the sanctions decision in the EU’s official journal is scheduled for December 2.

Seventeen people and 11 companies will fall under the penalties. Belarusian state airline Belavia is also included in the sanctions list. It will no longer be able to use the aircraft, leased by European companies.

This measure is intended to prevent Belavia from carrying large numbers of people from crisis zones to Belarus for their further promotion in the European Union. The Syrian airline Cham Wings, which also makes money from transporting migrants to Belarus, will also fall under sanctions.

Lukashenko-induced migrant crisis
For weeks, thousands of migrants have been trying to cross the border of Belarus and get into the EU. Brussels accuses Belarusian ruler Lukashenko of deliberately diverting streams of migrants from crisis regions to Minsk to then smuggle them into the EU to destabilize the West. To stop migrants, EU countries neighboring Belarus erected barbed wire fences on their eastern borders.

In recent days, the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has stabilized somewhat. However, small groups of migrants at night still make attempts to break through barbed wire fences on the border into Poland. The Polish Border Guard reported that on the night of November 30, there were 134 attempts to cross the border illegally from Belarus.

According to the European Commission, almost eight thousand migrants have already crossed the border of Belarus into the European Union since the beginning of the year. Of them 4,300 entered Lithuania, 3,200 – Poland and over 400 – Latvia.