The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the “black list” will include carriers who support the smuggling of migrants to Belarus: – There are specialized “travel agencies” that offer a comprehensive offer: a visa, flight, hotel and – which is extremely cynical – a taxi and a bus to the border – explained the chairman. As she added, the EU is coordinating the introduction of further sanctions against the Lukashenka regime with the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
“Black List” of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen also announced that the new EU budget will include more than EUR 6 billion to support the protection of the Union’s borders; funds will be spent, among others for the purchase of monitoring, vehicles, equipment for the Border Guard, but also for the construction of permanent security. In addition, three and a half million euros have been allocated to support the voluntary returns of migrants to their homelands. The head of the Commission reiterated in Strasbourg that we are not dealing with a migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, but with an attempt to destabilize the EU by the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenka.
– This cynical blackmail had the opposite effect: Europe stands united in solidarity with Latvia, Poland and Lithuania in this matter. Europe is operating at an extraordinary pace in four areas: humanitarian aid, diplomatic talks with the countries of origin of migrants, sanctions against people and institutions in Belarus, and sanctions against carriers – Ursula von der Leyen announced that the Commission is constantly negotiating the return of migrants from among others the authorities of Iraq, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates. The politician also emphasized that the European institutions did not recognize and do not recognize Alexander Lukashenka as the legitimate president of Belarus.
Morawiecki’s letter to MEPs
Later, a debate took place with the participation of MEPs. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was supposed to take part in the debate, but he did not come to Strasbourg in the end. Law and Justice MEP Ryszard Legutko explained in the debating room that Mateusz Morawiecki’s speech was prevented by the authorities of the European Parliament. The politician read the letter from the prime minister – in it the head of government emphasized that Alexander Lukashenka was acting on the orders of the Russian president Vladimir Putin. In the prime minister’s opinion, the European Union was too passive in the past when Moscow broke international law: in Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, or recently, in Belarus.
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“First of all, no concessions. Things have gone too far, Russia and Belarus have already crossed all borders and no more can be allowed. Second, nothing about us without us. Any attempt to resolve the conflict must be based on an agreement, any attempt to negotiate bypassing some states This is the success of Vladimir Putin. Thirdly, solidarity in the face of a common threat. Fourth, words are not enough anymore, we must act decisively, inter alia, through sanctions. Mateusz Morawiecki added that the EU must also show solidarity in terms of energy policy and constantly support its external partners, including Ukraine.
During the debate, MEP Andrzej Halicki said that, in parallel to the crisis on the border, we must not forget about the situation of the Belarusian opposition and the Polish minority in Belarus: – Almost a thousand political prisoners are tortured in prisons by Lukashenka. They must be free, like the entire Belarusian people. Also Poles: Andrzej Poczobut, Andżelika Borys (…) They must regain their freedom and we must help them in this, we cannot turn away from them – said Halicki.
Swiatłana Cichanouska will speak on Wednesday
During the debate, the Social Democrats pressed the European Commission to take more decisive action in favor of humanitarian aid for migrants detained by Belarusian officials near the Union’s border. Conservative MPs pointed out that Belarus had previously refused to accept Polish humanitarian convoys.
Swiatlana Cichanouska, the leader of the Belarusian opposition, who probably won the presidential elections in Belarus a year ago, will deliver a speech in the European Parliament on Wednesday at noon. The real results were never published, Lukashenka’s regime rigged the elections and tried to silence Sviatlana Cichanouska with repressions.