Refugees in a temporary detention center for migrants, equipped in a logistics center at the Bruzgi checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border

The European Union and the Republic of Belarus (RB) began to solve the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border… The most likely way out of it is the repatriation of refugees. At the same time Minsk does not exclude that such aggravations may happen in the future: as Izvestia was told in the Belarusian parliament, in order to prevent this, it is necessary to return to the agreement with the EU on readmission, which RB suspended in October this year.

A matter of technology

The European Union and Belarus have begun negotiations on resolving the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. How said on November 22, the representative of the European Commission Peter Stano, consultations are being held at different levels – expert (including with the UN humanitarian organizations) and diplomatic (in recent days, the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell and Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei twice held talks on this score).

“The only goal [этих контактов] – to facilitate the safe repatriation of people stranded in this country [Белоруссии]”, – said the representative of the EC.

At the same time, as the interlocutor of Izvestia said in European diplomatic circles, direct dialogue on the migration crisis with the current Belarusian authorities does not at all mean their acceptance… After the presidential elections in 2020, the European Union did not recognize Alexander Lukashenko as the head of state and, according to the Izvestia source, despite the urgent need to resolve the aggravation on the border, it does not intend to change its approach.

Minsk says that the current Belarusian leadership does not really need European approval… They are sure that the EU is to blame for the protests that unfolded after the 2020 elections.

Refugees in a temporary detention center for migrants, equipped in a logistics center at the Bruzgi checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border

Photo: Izvestia / Pavel Volkov

Recognition from the European Union has long lost all meaning… Its value began to approach zero when it became known that a number of special services – in particular, Poland and Lithuania – took part in organizing the color revolution in the Republic of Belarus, – Andrei Savinykh, head of the international commission of the House of Representatives of Belarus, told Izvestia. – We are always open to interact with our neighbors to resolve practical issues related to normal life and the fate of these unfortunate people who are stuck at the border..

A there seems to be no other solution besides repatriation. Nobody will let refugees into the European Union – the other day Berlin rejected Minsk’s public offer to create a humcorridor through which they could pass to Germany. In Belarus, they, too, most likely, will not remain. – the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in particular, said that none of the migrants at the border applied for asylum.

And although more than a thousand people are still in the border logistics center, refugees are already gradually returning home. Last week, about 400 people left the republic on a Minsk-Baghdad flight; On November 22, 118 people left the country, and another group is being prepared for repatriation.

Relapse risks

Wherein in Warsaw they are sure: the current exacerbation is being directed from Moscow, while Minsk here is exclusively a performer… On November 23, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said that his country is ready to negotiate the migration crisis with Russia; she agrees to discuss only “technical issues” with RB.

The situation in the camp with illegal migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border

Photo: Izvestia / Pavel Volkov

Moscow categorically rejects the involvement of the Russian Federation, emphasizing: in this story, Russia is not a party to the conflict.

– We are not ready for contacts with the Poles and we will not do this. They just want to drag us into the problem again as a side – by analogy with Donbass. But we are not a party to the conflict, as in the case of Donbass, and we will not be– Leonid Kalashnikov, head of the State Duma committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, told Izvestia. – In the story with migrants, everything is simple: the Poles do not want to talk to Lukashenka – after all, as they say, he is “the last dictator of Europe” – therefore they want to talk to us. But they won’t wait. Let them talk about their problems with the European Union, but don’t come to us.

The fact that the Republic of Belarus will no longer control the flow of migrants from the Middle East to Europe, Alexander Lukashenko said in May 2021. “We will no longer keep those whom you (Western countries. – Izvestia) spread rot in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq. We have neither the money nor the strength for this as a result of your sanctions, “he said a month and a half later, after the European Union introduced the fourth package of restrictions on Minsk., and the aggravation on the border – then with Lithuania – became the main topic of news.

And so Now that the situation seems to be moving towards resolution, the question arises: given that Brussels has approved the fifth sanctions package, will the situation with migrants be repeated?

The migration crisis is global in nature. Belarus faced him in the last six months, and he has been unfolding in the vastness of Europe for at least 10 years. So, of course, everything can happen again… And in fact, we must think about it for the future, – Andrei Savinykh answered this question. – We do not yet know what technical solutions the Polish side is talking about. A sustainable solution can be a comprehensive return to the interaction that took place within the framework of the readmission agreement with the European Union..

This agreement between the EU and Belarus assumes that migrants who illegally came from Belarus to Europe must return back. It entered into force in July 2020 along with a simplified visa regime for Belarusians. A year later, against the background of complicated bilateral relations, Minsk announced the suspension of readmission (this decision came into force in October). In response, Brussels suspended the work of a simplified visa regime for Belarusian officials.

Refugees from the Middle East go to the temporary detention center for migrants, equipped in the logistics center at the Bruzgi checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border

Refugees from the Middle East go to the temporary detention center for migrants, equipped in the logistics center at the Bruzgi checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border

Photo: Izvestia / Pavel Volkov

“There is no gain in this situation,” Denis Denisov, director of the Institute for Peacekeeping Initiatives and Conflictology, told Izvestia. – But For more than a year now, there has been a de facto boycott of the Belarusian authorities by the European Union. In the context of this crisis, European leaders realized that they could not do without direct communication with the leadership of the republic.… For 25 years, Brussels has been communicating, sometimes not communicating with Alexander Lukashenko. And now, too, we almost did not talk, and as a result, they will resume contacts again.

According to the expert, this is not the last crisis in relations between Belarus and the European Union. Migrants are not the only point of tension, there are a number of problems that will later be more prominent and on which the European Union will have to conduct a dialogue with representatives of the real Belarusian authorities, summed up Denis Denisov.

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