In its recent retaliation to the situation at the Poland-Belarus borders, the EU unveiled a proposed rule that would ban flights as well as travel companies that transport individuals to nations on its boundaries as part of efforts to destabilize the territory. The plan does not refer to Belarus, whose authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, is suspected of orchestrating the arrival of thousands of refugees to the Polish border, where a dire humanitarian scenario has been unfolding in recent months. Companies might be barred from flying through the EU, as well as arriving and fueling at EU airports, irrespective of whether their participation in destabilizing activities was deliberate or not. The idea fills a loophole in EU sanctions legislation, which is country-specific.
The EU has decided to prolong sanctions targeting Belarus, but only against Belarusian enterprises, not international airlines transporting passengers from the Middle East to Minsk. The EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, stated that the regulation was necessary for response to an unusual circumstance. She stated that Lukashenko was “trying to sell tickets to the EU,” charging individuals between €10,000 and €20,000 for a one-way flight to Minsk and subsequent transit to the EU boundary. “We feel the need to reach out immediately to those travel businesses that, most of the time unwittingly, are being part of a state-sponsored trafficking program coordinated by a panicky and non-democratic dictatorship,” Johansson added.
Authorities from the European Commission feel that a large part of the law’s worth stems from its ability to prevent firms from participating in such schemes. “Hopefully, we won’t have to use it,” Johansson remarked, adding that it had taken airlines “some time to comprehend how they were being used.” Turkish Airlines and Iraqi Airways canceled flights to Minsk after EU officials initiated discussions with Middle Eastern nations regarding the matter. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, told the European Parliament that the situation on the EU’s eastern edge was “not a migration catastrophe, but an effort by an autocratic dictatorship to destabilize its democratic neighbors.” “These migrants have been duped by dreadful false promises.”
We must resist this, which is why we want to create a blacklist for all modes of forms of transportation based on international law.” She asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support the ideas for them to be adopted as soon as possible. EU ministers must also endorse the idea. Belarus’ Interior Ministry stated that additional individuals would leave the nation on Tuesday, after the departure of 122 individuals on Monday. In a recent discussion with the BBC, Lukashenko stated that it was “very likely” that Belarusian state soldiers assisted individuals across the border into Poland, while he denied responsibility for the issue.
Syrians, Afghans, and Iraqis who have crossed the border and arrived in the Polish city of Bialystok have told the Associated Press that they purchased visa package deals from businesses that looked to be intimately linked to Belarusian officials. As per EU officials, around 7,500 migrants from the Middle East have landed in Lithuania, Latvia, as well as Poland through Belarus after the crisis started, and 8,000 have entered Germany through Belarus and Poland. Last month, Poland’s parliament enacted legislation authorizing border guards to detain asylum applicants and send them over the border without considering their claims.
Johannson, a Swedish Social Democrat in charge of the EU’s migration strategy, stated that the commission had “problems” with Polish legislation. “We believe there are components of this bill that are not following the EU acquis,” she explained. Migrants cannot be punished for unauthorized border crossings under the Geneva Conventions. Individuals caught in limbo among the EU and Belarus have told tales of being pushed between the two, denied entrance to Poland, and forced to return to Belarus. When asked about massive protests, Johansson stated that this was not EU policy. “Pushbacks are not permitted. Pushbacks will not be tolerated.”