Sanctions loom against airlines transporting Iraqi migrants to Belarus
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Poland's Interior Minister said in a letter to his German counterpart on Thursday that Warsaw supports sanctions on airlines that fly migrants hoping to enter the European Union through a neighboring country, Reuters reported on Thursday.
European Union foreign ministers have previously discussed further economic sanctions on Belarus, including on airlines, to stop what Brussels says is a deliberate policy by Minsk to transport thousands of migrants from Iraq, Iran, and Africa and send them across the border.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has denied EU accusations and blamed the West for what he says is a looming "humanitarian catastrophe" this winter after migrants were stranded at the Belarus-Polish border.
"Poland supports widening the sanctions against the Lukashenko regime and imposing sanctions on airlines that are making a profit from transporting illegal migrants to Belarus," wrote Mariusz Kaminsky, Poland’s Minister of Interior and Administration.
The German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer had previously offered to send border control officers to Poland to help the country manage the flow of migrants from Belarus, adding that Germany could also provide logistical support.
Kaminski thanked Seehofer for his offer of help and said the Polish police and special services would work with Germany to identify and combat human smuggling networks.