’No talks till sanctions lifted’: Lukashenko says Belarus received’t discuss to West about refugee border disaster whereas embargoes in place

A rising row between Belarus and the EU over a pointy spike in asylum seekers making an attempt to cross into the bloc from the Eastern European nation will solely worsen so long as sanctions are in place, the nation’s president has mentioned.

Speaking to journalists after a day of joint navy drills with Russia, veteran President Alexander Lukashenko mentioned Brussels must do a deal to calm down financial restrictions imposed on the nation if it needed to see an finish to the disaster. “If you want to live safely, then come – we’ll find a place, meet and discuss these issues,” he mentioned. 

“But until these senseless sanctions and efforts to humiliate our people are dropped, we won’t talk to them, and we won’t kneel before them,” he added.

At the identical time, Lukashenko reiterated that his authorities would do the whole lot in its energy to overturn the embargoes leveled at it by the West within the wake of final summer time’s disputed presidential election, and the police crackdown that adopted. “We should not be considered as some minor people,” he mentioned, “we have everything we need to guard our country against such encroachments.”

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Brussels has accused Lukashenko of “weaponizing” determined individuals in latest weeks, rising the variety of flights from troubled locations like Iraq and Iran, with Belarusian authorities reportedly then driving would-be asylum seekers to the borders with the EU and inspiring them to cross. 

Neighboring Poland and Lithuania have begun building of frontier partitions and handed emergency legal guidelines toughening their response to the state of affairs, with the UN’s refugee company, the UNHCR, slamming Warsaw for turning away susceptible individuals.

Belarus insists it’s merely not ready to expend assets to stop refugees from reaching the border within the context of an more and more hostile relationship with the West. Last week, Lukashenko launched a invoice that may enable his nation to refuse to simply accept any migrants deported from the bloc who had traveled by way of Belarusian territory.

The EU has imposed a sequence of sanctions since Lukashenko declared victory in final 12 months’s election, which the opposition and lots of worldwide observers say was rigged in his favor. Police responded to a wave of demonstrations with tear gasoline and a widespread marketing campaign of arrests, and lots of opposition figures have since both left the nation or been handed hefty jail sentences.

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