Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has leveled a series of accusations against Western Europe, accusing them of using migrants and refugees to re-create Europe, according to an article published Thursday by Russia’s RIA news agency.
“I don’t believe there should be any disappointment because there is no deal. The entire European Union is not supported by the member states of the bloc and of course there will be no unified action on this issue. But I understand why European countries are talking about immigration,” Lukashenko said.
The remarks come after President Trump signed into law, Thursday, a 90-day measure to allow U.S. border agents to keep families together after arrests and criminal investigations. It also provides $1.6 billion to build 55 miles of border barriers and is intended to deter smugglers and make it harder for illegal immigrants to enter the United States.
Many Democrats and some Republicans, however, have criticized the measure as dangerously short term and a temporary stopgap measure, because they consider family detention a humane way to keep families together and as a bureaucratic process that is lacking in rigor.
The bill faces resistance in Congress, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., indicated Wednesday that efforts to pass a longer-term policy had stalled. However, Democrats and even some Republicans have expressed concern that such measures may open the door to the return of forced family detention.
In Europe, however, new member states are unwilling to engage. The leaders of Romania and Bulgaria have distanced themselves from fellow EU nations on the issue of immigration. Italy, which is pressing for similar action, has had only one trip from a diplomat from another EU country to support the policy.
“It’s a line most Balkan and Central European states are following because they don’t have the expertise to deal with these questions,” the European diplomat told The New York Times earlier this week.
“Belarus now has half a million people living there who are unemployed and desperate,” Lukashenko said. “The European Union thinks that this crisis can solve all its problems. It just creates more problems. Yes, it can bring more problems. There are thousands of ethnic problems around the Balkans and the Western Balkans. We cannot continue this policy of migrant policy.”
Lukashenko said that one way the West can save face is by resolving its conflicts.
“I think that resolving this problem would be a way out of this problem,” he said. “That’s the only way out. The main problem is not migration because there are problems with migration. The main problem is not migration, it’s not having a conflict.”
“But if they continue to speak about migration, don’t provide documents for migrants,” he said. “All those migrants come, some of them will simply settle in every city in Europe, will they not? European cities will not have enough land for all those people.”
A Section on 02/16/21