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EU migrant crisis: Top French official accuses Belarus’ President Lukashenko & his family of organizing ‘human trafficking’

EU migrant crisis: Top French official accuses Belarus’ President Lukashenko & his family of organizing ‘human trafficking’
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his family are organizing a human trafficking ring and bringing migrants into the EU in an attempt to weaken the Union, France’s Secretary of State for European Affairs has claimed.

Speaking on Wednesday, Clément Beaune said that Minsk wants to break up the EU through mass immigration.

“Human trafficking is organized by the Lukashenko family directly, along with third countries,” he said. “It is cleverly organized through Turkey and Dubai.”

In the last few months, some Western countries have accused Lukashenko of flying migrants from the Middle East and Africa to Minsk, to then shuttle them to the borders with Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. The migrants then cross the frontier illegally to claim asylum in the EU. According to some officials in Brussels, this is a form of warfare in retaliation for the economic sanctions imposed by the EU on Belarus.

“It is unacceptable traffic that aims to weaken and divide the European Union,” Beaune continued. According to the French official, Lukashenko is using the asylum seekers to attempt to portray the bloc in a negative light.

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“He wants to tell us ‘it is you who do not want migrants, it is you who mistreat them, it is you who do not respect the great principles you claim,’” Beaune continued.

The Frenchman isn’t the first senior politician in the EU to take aim at Lukashenko over the current migrant crisis. Earlier this month, German foreign minister Heiko Maas dubbed the Belarusian leader “the head of a state-run smuggling ring.”

According to Beaune, the EU response must be “firm and humane.” However, in recent weeks, members of the bloc have been blasted by human rights NGOs for the poor treatment of migrants. For example, Poland was criticized by the London-based group Amnesty International for stranding 32 Afghan migrants, leaving them without access to clean water, shelter, or medicine. Despite its EU obligations, Warsaw is refusing to accept asylum seekers crossing the border from Belarus.

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