According to the latest plans to land at the airport of the Belarusian capital, there will be about 40 flights per week from Istanbul, Damascus and Dubai until March, Welt am Sonntag reports. Migrants who wish to do so often use these three airports. They flew directly to Belarus where they continue their journey towards the European Union.
New airports will come
This means that there are currently more than twice as many flights from the Middle East to Minsk compared to winter 2019/2020. At that time, about 17 aircraft from these and other airports in the Middle East landed in Minsk. After that, the number of flights decreased due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At the moment, about 800-1000 migrants per day land in Belarus, according to “Welt am Sonntag”, citing information from the German security services. In the near future, five more Belarusian airports will be opened for flights from the Middle East. These ports will be transferred from domestic airports to international airports. One of them is located only 20 km from the Polish border in Grodno.
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“Lukashenko is desperate”
The European Union has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of smuggling refugees from the Middle East across the borders of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia into the European Union in retaliation for European sanctions. “The situation on the eastern border is unprecedented and is caused by an aggressive and unscrupulous regime,” EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Welt am Sonntag. “Lukashenko is desperate, the European Union is taking measures against his regime and is considering further sanctions,” Johansson added.
According to data from the Federal Police, which is responsible for border protection in Germany, 572 people illegally entered Germany from Belarus in the first four days of November alone. During this year, 8,407 people illegally crossed the border, coming “by the Belarusian route”, most of them across the Polish-German border.
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