EU plans to sanction companies that help smuggle migrants.


The European Commission has proposed some means to affect transport companies that have helped smuggle people into the European Union (EU) via Belarus.

The Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen announced while addressing the European Parliament that, “The measures would blacklist any transport company involved in helping move migrants from accessing EU airspace, landing at airports, arriving at ports or crossing EU territory.

“There are specialized travel agents offering all-inclusive deals, visas, flights, hotels and somewhat cynically, taxis and buses up to the border.

“Let us be very clear, these migrants are being vilely misled by false promises,” she said.

The Commission’s Vice-President Margaritis Schinas said the situation was the result of people being sold a lie by international smuggling networks.

“This is not a migration threat or crisis, this is a security one, so we have to deal with it as such,” Schinas added.

If adopted, these means would add to the pressure on Belarus to ease the migrant crisis across EU countries that border Belarus, including Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko called on the EU to cooperate with Minsk to resolve the months-long migrant crisis that has left more than 10 people dead.

READ ALSO: EU to tighten visa rules for Belarus officials over migrants



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