According to the leadership in Minsk, there are currently around 7,000 migrants in Belarus. Of these, 2000 are on the border with Poland. That said on Thursday, President-Spokeswoman Natalja Ejsmont. At the same time she mentioned a compromise offer for the EU. According to this, Minsk is ready to send 5,000 refugees back to their home countries if the EU in turn accepts 2,000 migrants. Alexander Lukashenko discussed this proposal with Angela Merkel.
On Thursday, according to official information, the repatriation of 430 Iraqis who were in Belarus were stranded. They should be brought back to Iraq on an evacuation flight, said a foreign ministry spokesman in Baghdad. Iraqi consulate staff in Belarus also registered 50 more people who wanted to return to Iraq, according to a report by the state agency INA.
According to official information, the repatriation of 430 Iraqis who were stranded in Belarus was planned on Thursday. They should be brought back to Iraq on an evacuation flight, said a foreign ministry spokesman in Baghdad. Iraqi consulate staff in Belarus also registered 50 more people who wanted to return to Iraq, according to a report by the state agency INA.
The EU had threatened harsh sanctions against foreign airlines as well. This was to prevent migrants from being brought to Belarus for onward smuggling into the European Union. As a result, Turkey, for example, decreed that citizens of several Arab countries could no longer move from Turkish territory Belarus be allowed to fly. According to media reports, Uzbekistan in Central Asia had also announced such a step.
The EU refused negotiations on Thursday Belarus on the plight of migrants on the border with Poland and the Baltic states. “It is out of the question to negotiate with the Lukashenko regime,” said European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer on Thursday. Rather, the discussion partners are the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in order to facilitate the repatriation of people who are at the border. “That is the focus of the talks and of course also continues to provide help to the people on the border.”
The day before, the EU had announced aid deliveries for the migrants stuck in Belarus. In a first step, food, blankets and other goods worth 700,000 euros are to be brought to the region on the border with Poland.
Poland meanwhile called on the EU to resolutely protect its borders. “If we are not able to keep thousands of immigrants away now, then there will soon be hundreds of thousands, millions, who are coming to Europe,” said Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki of the “Bild” newspaper. His country is currently proving at the border fence Belarusthat effective border protection is possible. “Hardly anyone gets through, even though thousands try every night and every day.”
Belarus reported a first corona case in the migrant emergency shelter near the Polish border on Thursday. In the logistics hall, which has been converted into a sleeping camp, a person was sick, reported the Belarusian state agency BelTA, citing a representative from the Grodno region. The sick person was taken to a hospital.
In the accommodation, which opened on Tuesday, hundreds of people slept in a confined space on the floor for the past two nights. Because of the threat of rain, more migrants have now been accommodated on the upper floor. More and more people are leaving the forest directly on the border with Poland, as a reporter from the German press agency reported on site.
According to this, around 2,000 people were already in the hall on Thursday afternoon. There are hardly any corona protective cushions there, and almost no one wears a mask. The hygienic conditions are bad. Dmitri Shevtsov, General Secretary of the Belarusian Red Cross, told the dpa that all people who had camped in the border area in the past few days could find space in the accommodation.