Lukashenko gives EU an ultimatum to resolve migrant crisis

Self-proclaimed Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has put forward a list of demands that he wants the EU to implement in order to resolve the migrant crisis on Belarus-Poland border, said the Foreign Minister of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets in an interview with ETV.

"He wants the sanctions to be stopped, [and] to be recognized as head of state so he can continue," Liimeths said, explaining that Lukashenko voiced these conditions during a phone conversation with acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on November 15.

The EU does not recognize Lukashenko as the president of Belarus and considers the elections held in August last year to be rigged. The European Parliament in the last resolution on the situation in Belarus stated that Lukashenko's powers expired in November 2020, and therefore any documents signed by him, including an agreement on integration with Russia, are illegitimate.

In response to the crackdown on the Belarusian opposition and forced landing of the Ryanair flight, the EU adopted several packages of sanctions, cutting Belarus off from the ability to sell oil products and borrow funds in European capital markets. The EU authorities have begun a discussion on the next, fifth sanctions package due to migrant crisis on the Poland-Belarus border. The sanctions are expected to affect 30 individuals and legal entities, including Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and the national airline Belavia.

The foreign ministers of the EU countries approved the decision to tighten sanctions on November 15 and, according to Liimetz, they will remain in force, despite Lukashenko's ultimatum.

  Lukashenko, Poland, Estonia

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