In fact, in 2017, the EU singled out Belarus € 7 million for the construction of temporary accommodation centers for illegal migrants. As the head of the Minsk Center for European Integration Andrei Yegorov explained then to Deutsche Welle, Belarus needed this to simplify the visa regime with the EU, since the readmission agreement together with the visa facilitation agreement constituted a single package. In addition, within the framework of EU cross-border cooperation programs, Belarus in 2014–2020 received about € 38.5 million for the modernization of border infrastructure. The EU did not talk about the construction of camps for illegal migrants by the EU, it only financed this work.
But after the EU imposed sanctions on Belarus in connection with the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk and the abduction of two of its passengers, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei made the following statement:
“We will have to use the money that was planned for the development of border infrastructure, the implementation of some other projects related to mobility to eliminate the consequences that may occur in Belarus in connection with the imposed sanctions. That is, this money will go to specific people, to the people. Why should we restrain some fugitive migrants who want to go to the same West in search of a better life just because once famous countries decided to make color revolutions there.
We are not going to take money from the people and throw it on unnecessary projects, trying to protect the West, while appropriate sanctions are being taken against us. “
As for the party that initiated the termination of the readmission agreement, here message of the Belarusian state news agency BELTA on June 28, 2021 under the heading “Belarus begins the procedure for suspending the readmission agreement with the EU”:
“Belarus is starting to implement the procedure for suspending the readmission agreement with the EU. This is stated in a statement by the press service of the Foreign Ministry, BelTA informs.
“We cannot fulfill our obligations under this agreement under the conditions of the sanctions and restrictions imposed by the European Union. We state with deep regret that the forced suspension of the agreement will have a negative impact on interaction with the European Union in the fight against illegal migration and organized crime, ”the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In September, Lukashenka introduced to the National Assembly the draft law “On the suspension of the agreement between the Republic of Belarus and the European Union on the readmission of persons staying without permission.” His press service noted that the document was “prepared by the government in response to the unfriendly actions taken by the EU and its member states in relation to Belarus.” The law was passed and on October 14 Lukashenka signed it. No European initiatives to break the agreement were reported.
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