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Belarus MFA holds Poland, Lithuania, Latvia responsible for increased illegal migration at border

Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Belarus is concerned about the unfounded accusations by Poland and Lithuania for illegal migration, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Ambrazevich said as he met with Assistant High Commissioner for Protection with UNHCR Gillian Triggs on the sidelines of the 111th session of the International Labor Conference in Geneva, BelTA learned from the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yuri Ambrazevich and Gillian Triggs. MFA photo

Yuri Ambrazevich and Gillian Triggs. MFA photo

The parties discussed the cooperation to ensure a decent position for foreign refugees and stateless persons in Belarus. As it has been noted, UNHCR has become more active in assisting the Belarusian government in addressing the challenges posed by the growing number of migrants from Ukraine.

"The deputy minister communicated to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Belarus' concerns over the unfounded accusations in the media increasingly promoted by Poland and Lithuania against the Belarusian government on the purposeful use of illegal migration against the European Union," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Yuri Ambrazevich recalled the effective cooperation between the Belarusian government and the UNHCR in resolving the migrant crisis on the border with the EU countries. The diplomat emphasized that since the most acute phase of the crisis, despite Belarus' readiness, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia has still refused any cooperation on countering illegal migration and managing it.

"He stressed that the refusal from international cooperation on the joint border makes these countries fully responsible for the growth of organized crime associated with the illegal crossing of the Belarusian border by foreigners towards the European Union and the suffering and deaths of refugees associated with this trafficking," the ministry said.

In Geneva, Yuri Ambrazevich also met with the Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross Gilles Carbonnier. The parties stressed the constructive nature of cooperation, noting the availability of effective tools, including an annual cooperation plan, hailing the activities of the ICRC Office in Minsk, regular trusting contacts at the level of the ICRC Regional Office in Moscow and the organization's headquarters in Geneva.

"The parties discussed the state of international relations, the development of their military and humanitarian components in the world, in Europe and, more specifically, on the borders of Belarus. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining possible operational support for each other in case of humanitarian emergencies," the ministry's press service said.

Yuri Ambrazevich welcomed the ICRC's activities in support of the Belarusian Red Cross, aimed, among other things, at assisting the government in meeting the basic needs of refugees and displaced persons from Ukraine.