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Lukashenko: The EU shies away from contacts on migrant crisis

22.11.2021

Contact persons from the European Union who were supposed to cooperate with Belarus on the refugee crisis do not get in touch, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he received Grodno Oblast Governor Vladimir Karanik and President's Aide – Inspector for Grodno Oblast Yuri Karayev on 22 November, BelTA has learned. 

“I am waiting for the EU's decision on 2,000 refugees. We have about 2,000 refugees in this camp. I asked them [the European Union and, in particular, Germany] to take them away. They said that Merkel [Germany's acting Chancellor Angela Merkel, with whom Aleksandr Lukashenko had two telephone conversations] promised me to consider this problem at the EU level. Yet, it is not even being considered. The same pertains to contact persons (it was also her promise and a decision made by the EU). These contact persons do not even get in touch. Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Makei calls them to invite them to come to grips with this problem. They answer that they are on a business trip, somewhere else and so on,” said the head of state. 

“Therefore, we should not wait for anyone. Once they refused, they will not be allowed to come here. There is nothing for them to do here. Because it will end up the same way as with these international visitors. They will come to show off. We will handle these migrants on our own if Germany does not take them. What else is left for us to do? We have no choice. But we must demand that the Germans take them,” the Belarusian leader emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that many of these refugees have relatives in Germany. “They have relatives, family members living in Germany. Therefore, they left for Germany with their children, families, but got pesticides pouring in their face, nose, mouth, and so on. Therefore, we will do everything these refugees want. We will not beat, humiliate and bully them,” the president said. 

According to him, many are striving to get to Germany to continue their treatment. “Yesterday, WHO specialists were shown some X-rays and were told that some refugees needed to finish their treatment. These specialists responded: Go to Iraq for treatment! But if they could continue their treatment and have a surgery in Iraq, they would not have come to Belarus to get to Germany. Here is their face, here is their responsibility. Therefore, these visitors have nothing to do here. Tell the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that you will not let these visitors come here again in order to show off. However, if they want to help, let them do it,” the head of state said. 

“What are you [foreign visitors] telling us about medicines and so on? We have enough medicines. You have billions of dollars. Give money to these migrants so that they can get medical assistance, some subsistence minimum, and so on,” the Belarusian leader added. 

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that alongside the main refugee camp, one should not forget about the situation on the border as a whole. “These poor fellows keep crossing the border - 200-300-400-600 people along the entire border with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia. They manage to get there. What do they [in the European Union] do? They catch migrants already on the German border or in the middle of Poland, put them in police vans, bring them to the borderline and thrown them out to our part of the border. In other words, they dump them at the border. I have got the recent updates. True, there are much fewer of them by now - about one and a half hundred people along the entire border of the three states,” the head of state noted. 

Moreover, even those who entered Poland and the European Union from countries other than Belarus are also pushed back to the Belarusian border.