German Foreign Minister Threatens Belarus With New Sanctions
The German Foreign Minister says Lukashenko is spinning in"a dangerous spiral of escalation from which there is no way out for himself."
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced on Wednesday that Germany supports imposing new European sanctions on Minsk, accusing Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of sending migrants "unscrupulously" to the Polish border, "exploiting" them.
Maas also threatened to sanction all those who participate in the smuggling of migrants.
The Foreign Minister said "Lukashenko must realize that his calculations are not working," stressing that "the EU cannot be blackmailed."
For weeks, Europeans have accused Lukashenko of bringing in immigrants from the Middle East and sending them to the borders with Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, three member states of the EU.
Maas described what was taking place at the Belarus border as "horrific," adding that Lukashenko was spinning in a "dangerous spiral of escalation from which there is no way out for himself."
The German Minister also warned that the EU is ready to impose sanctions on countries and airlines involved in sending migrants to Belarus.
A spokesman for the European Commission announced that the EU is preparing to impose new sanctions against the Lukashenko government and seeking to investigate all conceivable and accessible ways to deal with the issue.
The EU is pressing more than 13 countries to end their travel to Belarus, along with monitoring 20 others.
The Union considers the influx of migrants from Belarus as a threat to Europe's security. Poland has lately responded by deploying 10,000 soldiers near the border with Belarus.