Belarus set to refuse unlawful migrants deported from European Union international locations, as Lukashenko ramps up refugee border row with West

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Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’s embattled chief, has put ahead a brand new invoice that may enable his nation to reject migrants and would-be asylum seekers deported from the EU for crossing the border with out permission.

The presidential press service confirmed on Thursday that Lukashenko had submitted the draft legislation to the nation’s National Assembly in a bid to droop current agreements with Brussels. “The document was prepared in response to the unfriendly actions taken by the EU and its member states towards Belarus,” the assertion stated.

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Under the rule change, Minsk’s obligations to just accept these deported from the bloc can be scrapped, that means authorities can refuse to just accept these pushed again after attempting to cross the border, in addition to doubtlessly blocking deportation flights. Under the current rules, Belarus has been obliged to re-admit those that had entered EU nations via its territory.

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The move comes as Brussels accuses Lukashenko’s authorities of “weaponizing” refugees by allegedly laying on flights from troubled locations in Africa and the Middle East, earlier than driving migrants to the border and inspiring them to cross over. Neighboring nations, together with Poland and Lithuania, have begun reinforcing their frontiers with partitions and obstacles, whereas Brussels is stepping up funding for border patrols.

Last month, the UN’s refugee company, the UNHCR, slammed Poland for turning away individuals intending to say asylum. Officials stated the nation ought to respect the rights of “people fleeing war, violence and persecution.”

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Brussels insists that the sudden rise within the variety of determined individuals trying to cross over from Belarus is a calculated political effort designed to place stress on the bloc over sanctions it has imposed on Minsk. A sequence of financial and political measures had been unveiled earlier this yr over what it describes as a brutal crackdown on opposition in Belarus since final summer season’s presidential election.

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Activists and lots of worldwide observers insist that vote was rigged in Lukashenko’s favor, and tens of 1000’s took to the streets throughout the nation to demand a recent ballot. Authorities responded with tear fuel, violently broke up protests, and have since begun a widespread marketing campaign of arrests. Earlier this week, a court docket in Minsk handed greater than a decade in jail to one of many main organizers of the demonstrations, Maria Kolesnikova, who prosecutors accused of trying to overthrow the federal government.

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