Brussles (Belgium), October 19: The European Union (EU) was ready to implement sanctions against the national airline of Belarus in a bid to partially curb the flow of migrants entering the EU, an EU official said on Monday.
This was one of the measures discussed by EU foreign ministers and would serve as a message for other airlines that they were "playing the game of smugglers of human beings," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell told a press conference after an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg.
Borrell said the EU is working with the countries of origin and convince them that these are not tourists who suddenly want to visit Minsk but people who have been duped into believing that there is a way into Europe via Latvia, Lithuania or Poland.
Borrell said that there was "a long list of countries" from where the migrants were transported.
"That is a situation we have to denounce and fight," he said.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has earlier denied any wrong doings concerning immigrants leaving the Middle East and entering the EU via Belarus.
The Belarusian Telegraph Agency reported in May that the conflicts in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan contributed to the development of terrorism.
"Thus they flocked to Europe: some with revenge on their minds, others to find jobs," Lukashenko was quoted as saying.