On 8 November, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, called on EU member states to finally approve the extended sanctions regime on the Belarusian authorities responsible for the hybrid attack using migrants against European countries across the Belarusian border.
“The instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable,” von der Leyen said in her statement published yesterday. “Belarus must stop putting people’s lives at risk.”
The President added that “the Belarusian authorities must understand that pressuring the European Union in this way through a cynical instrumentalisation of migrants will not help them succeed in their purposes”.
Von der Leyen said senior European officials would travel in the coming days to the main countries of origin and of transit to ensure that they act to prevent their own nationals from falling into the trap set by the Belarusian authorities. The EU will also consider sanctions against third country airlines that are active in human trafficking and ways to ensure that migrants can be safely returned to their country of origin.
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