Brussels tops the list: EU threatens airlines to help smugglers

Brussels tops the list
EU threatens airlines to help smugglers

The Belarusian ruler Lukashenko smuggles refugees to the EU’s external border by plane. So that people are no longer the pawn in conflicts in the future, Brussels wants to expand the sanction options. Companies that help face sanctions.

In connection with the refugee conflict with Belarus, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has spoken out in favor of expanded sanction options. The EU Commission is proposing a “black list” for all transport companies such as airlines that are involved in human trafficking and human smuggling, said von der Leyen in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The legislative proposal had been submitted to the European Parliament and the member states.

According to the Commissioner for Migration, Margaritis Schinas, imitators of the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko and their helpers could also be prosecuted. The proposal sends a clear message to everyone “who is considering participating in such activities,” he said. The EU accuses Lukashenko of targeting migrants to the borders of the member states Poland, Latvia and Lithuania in order to retaliate for sanctions.

EU Council President Charles Michel also specified details of a new package of sanctions against Belarus that the foreign ministers of the member states launched a good week ago. According to Michel, the Belarusian airline Belavia will no longer be allowed to lease aircraft from airlines in the EU.

The acceptance of the sanctions list is “imminent”, stressed Michel. The new punitive measures are intended to affect airlines, travel agencies and other responsible parties involved in smuggling through Belarus. The list of those affected could be officially adopted in the coming week.

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