European Commissioner: Situation at the Border with Belarus is Improving

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Tensions at the border with Belarus are easing, the European Commission says. Responsible European Commissioner Ylva Johansson is “satisfied” with the “clear answer” that Brussels has given Belarusian President Lukashenko to his attempts to bring asylum seekers into the European Union.

 

Asylum seekers who camped in the winter cold at the Polish border in hopes of entering the EU have been housed in a storage hall for the past few days. Some return from Belarus to their country of origin on repatriation flights.

“We are now in a situation where it is de-escalating,” Johansson said in an interview with Euronews. “I am pleased that we have managed to give a clear response to Lukashenko, sometimes called Europe’s last dictator, who tried to sell illegal tickets to the EU.”

But “of course you can never be satisfied when young people, people are in the cold. We have heard of several deaths. Children are in a pinch.” That suffering could have been prevented if the EU finally put its asylum policy in order, says Johansson.

The blame for the current migrant crisis lies entirely with Lukashenko, emphasizes the Swedish European Commissioner. But EU country Poland must be more open about what is happening in the border area and give journalists and aid workers more scope, she urges. “We have to respect our fundamental rights; otherwise we are not really Europeans.”

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