The EU has agreed on new sanctions against Belarus targeting “everyone involved” in facilitating the transport of people to Belarus’s border with Poland, the Guradian reports.
The EU accuses Belarus leadership for of waging a “hybrid attack” against the bloc by allowing people from the Middle East to fly into Minsk then head for the Polish border.
EU High Representative, Josep Borrell said the decision by 27 EU foreign ministers reflected “the determination by the European Union to stand up to the instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes”.
A list of people and entities to be hit by asset freezes and travel bans is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks. It will include “people, airlines, travel agencies and everyone involved in this illegal push of migrants against our borders”, Borrell said.
The EU decision was announced as a column of people converged on the Polish border for the second week running.
Video footage showed people walking out of a forest where they were encamped and making for the Kuźnica border crossing. The group was accompanied by Belarusian police in riot gear.
The EU has already imposed four rounds of sanctions on the Belarusian authorities and senior officials over last year’s disputed election and the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters that followed.
EU officials want to ensure the new sanctions list is legally watertight, to minimise the risk of being sued in the European court of justice.
The sanctions list is thought unlikely to feature the Russian airline Aeroflot, although Poland and Lithuania have said they hold the Russian president responsible for the border crisis.