EU seeks to reduce migrant flow via Belarus, analysing air traffic to Minsk

While in Belarus, at its border with Poland, around 2 000 migrants are looking for ways to illegally enter the EU member state, the European Externa Action Service (EEAS) has stated that it monitors air traffic from more than 20 countries to Belarus. The EU body has voiced being committed to act against possible attempts by Minsk to increase migration flow, Belgian news portal EurActiv reports.
EEAS spokesman Peter Stano stated on Tuesday, November 9, that the European Commission is monitoring flights to Belarus from two dozen countries in an attempt to prevent more migrants from being encouraged to travel to the bloc’s border by the government in Minsk. The statement followed reports by media such as DW that Belarus is preparing to handle roughly 40 weekly flights from Istanbul, Damascus, and Dubai by March.
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«We are looking at the frequency of flights, we are looking at the pattern of flights – how many flights go out, how many flights go back, what’s the occupancy of the planes,» Stano told reporters. The more than 20 countries would include airline travel from countries such as Morocco, Syria, Iran, Qatar, South Africa, Somalia, India, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Russia, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Yemen.
As a means to reduce migration flow via Belarus EU is currently looking to extend sanctions and include third-country airlines, which take part in flying migrants to Belarus. This could be confirmed, when EU foreign affairs ministers meet in Brussels in mid-November, EurActiv reports.