Dispute with Belarus: German government refuses to accept 2,000 migrants

Status: 11/22/2021 2:37 p.m.

Germany has refused to accept 2000 migrants from Belarus. A corresponding demand by Belarusian President Lukashenko is not an “acceptable solution” for the Federal Republic and the EU.

The federal government has rejected the request of the Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko to accept 2000 refugees stuck on the border with Poland. This is not a “solution that is acceptable for Germany or the EU,” said government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

According to the state news agency Belta, Lukashenko had previously criticized the EU for refusing to hold talks about accepting the refugees.

2000 migrants are stuck in the warehouse

In the Belarusian-Polish border area, thousands of people, mainly from the Middle East, are currently stuck in freezing temperatures. Around 2000, the Belarusian authorities placed them in a logistics center near the border.

The German government and the EU accuse Lukashenko of deliberately smuggling migrants to the borders of the EU states Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in retaliation for sanctions.

Lukashenko, however, again rejected the allegation of smuggling. In return, he accused the EU of breaking its word. The German Chancellor Angela “Merkel has promised me that she will examine this problem at EU level,” said the Belarusian President, who had spoken to Merkel twice on the phone last week. “But they don’t.”

Merkel criticizes “appalling humanitarian situation”

With regard to the roughly 2,000 refugees in the warehouse, Lukashenko said, according to Belta: “We have to demand that the Germans take them in.” Last week the Belarusian leadership spoke of a “humanitarian corridor to Germany” with reference to Merkel.

Seibert said now that Merkel had phoned Lukashenko “because there is a terrible humanitarian situation along the Belarusian-Polish border”. “And because, of course, the attempt must always be made to find solutions in the interests of the people who persevere in very, very difficult circumstances.”

Merkel also spoke with the head of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, and the head of the UN migration organization IOM, António Vitorino. The federal government is trying to “create access for these organizations so that they can help with the humanitarian care of migrants along the border”. But they should also be able to take action “when it comes to safe repatriation to their home countries,” said Seibert.

More than 10,000 illegal entries so far in 2021

According to the Federal Police, there have already been 10,128 illegal entries with a connection to Belarus in the current year. In the first three weeks of November, 2287 unauthorized border crossings with reference to the Eastern European country were registered. In the entire period from January to July, according to the information, only a total of 26 unauthorized people with a connection to Belarus were found at the German-Polish border.

Since August there has been “high migratory pressure” on the German-Polish border, which results in particular from the migration situation in connection with the transit of migrants via Belarus and Poland. According to the Federal Police, there are “currently no signs of easing”.


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