May 29, 2023

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Immigrants: Lukashenko accuses EU of denying any talks with Belarus

Moscow | Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday accused EU officials of denying any discussion with Minsk about the plight of 2,000 migrants stranded near the EU’s eastern border.

The West accuses Belarus of artificially creating a crisis by bringing in migrants, mainly from the Middle East, to the border, promising easy access to the EU.

Belarus has denied the allegations, accusing the EU of not welcoming immigrants.

“I look forward to hearing from the EU on the issue of 2,000 migrants,” Lukashenko told a government meeting, citing the state-owned Belda news agency.

Thousands of migrants, mostly Iraqi Kurds, have been stranded for days in the cold and humid jungles of the Belarus-Poland border, hoping to reach Western Europe.

About 400 of them were flown back to Iraq on Thursday and about 2,000 were taken to shelter by Belarusian authorities in a hangar in a logistics center near the border.

Lukashenko said on Monday that he had asked the EU to welcome the migrants. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that “Merkel will look into the issue at the EU level,” and she spoke to the German president twice by telephone last week.

“But they are not,” he said.

According to the President of Belarus, despite the appeals of the Belarussian Foreign Minister, European officials have denied any involvement in the matter.

“We have to ask the Germans to welcome them,” Lukashenko told immigrants.

Belarus last week promised that the German president would hold talks with the European Union on a “humanitarian corridor” to expel the remaining 2,000 migrants to Germany.

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However, the German government categorically denied the allegations.