German media report that Belarus is preparing to handle about 40 weekly flights from Istanbul, Damascus, and Dubai by March. These routes have been recently used by people seeking to enter the EU illegally via Belarus.
Deutsche Welle, citing Welt am Sonntag, writes that flights from the Middle East to Minsk have more than doubled since the winter of 2019-2020. Back then, about 17 planes from the region landed in Minsk per week. After the start of the pandemic, those numbers dropped even further. Belarus is preparing to handle about 40 flights a week from Istanbul, Damascus, and Dubai by March.
According to the data of the German secret services, currently, about 800–1,000 migrants arrive in Belarus every day. Five more Belarusian airports could be used to receive flights from the Middle East. They will turn from national to international. One of them, as noted, is located in Hrodna.
In 2021, Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia recorded a significant increase in illegal migration from Belarus. EU countries accuse Lukashenka’s regime of facilitating irregular migration to Europe and deliberately transferring migrants from the Middle East to the border. The West calls the actions of official Minsk a hybrid war.