Flies refugees to Belarus: Maas threatens airlines with landing ban in the EU

Refugees fly to Belarus
Maas threatens airlines with landing ban in the EU

For some airlines it is a lucrative business model: They fly refugees to Belarus, where dictator Lukashenko exploits them as a means of pressure against the EU. Foreign Minister Maas wants to stop this practice – with sanctions if necessary.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has threatened all airlines that continue to be involved in the transport of refugees via Belarus with the withdrawal of overflight rights and landing permits in the EU. “All airlines should follow the example of Turkish Airlines and others and consistently refuse Lukashenko’s inhuman business,” said the SPD politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

It is possible to disengage from the chain of smugglers if the will is there. “For anyone who does not do that, there will be tough sanctions, Maas announced.” Overflight rights and landing permits in the EU will then no longer be inviolable. ”

Meanwhile, Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer spoke out against accepting migrants stuck in the border area between Belarus and Poland in Germany. “We are not allowed to take these migrants into the EU or Germany. If you wanted to, they wouldn’t have to take the detour via Minsk, but could fly straight to Germany,” said Kretschmer of “Bild am Sonntag”.

“We have clear rules on immigration”

“But we have clear rules on immigration. Recognized refugees or skilled workers can come. Neither is the case with the migrants who were lured by Lukashenko. We have to show the dictator in Minsk that this measure will not be successful Then he will stop the smuggling, “said Kretschmer.

Society has to endure the pictures of people in need at the border and help Poland secure its external EU border, Kretschmer added. “Warsaw is doing the right thing, so we cannot stab Poland in the back.”

Pro Asyl, on the other hand, called for those stuck on the Polish-Belarusian border to be allowed to enter the EU, so that a humanitarian solution could be found and some of them were taken in Germany. The managing director of Pro Asyl, Günter Burkhardt, emphasized that the language was brutalized when refugees became illegal migrants. “And this is followed by merciless action that ignores the plight of the people and their sometimes quite legitimate reasons for coming to the EU.” Kretschmer denied people their refugee rights in general, without knowing who they were and why they wanted to come to the EU.

Furthermore, thousands of migrants on the Belarusian side of the border with Poland are waiting in makeshift camps in the forest at temperatures around freezing point. In the past few days, groups have repeatedly tried to break through the barrier and illegally cross the border.

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