Lukashenka ready to solve migrant crisis in return for West’s recognising him president, lifting sanctions – Estonian FM

Alyaksandr Lukashenka might pull the plug on the current migration crisis on Belarus-EU borders, but in exchange for his would-be ‘contribution’ he is seeking to be recognised as president by world leaders, Estonia’s Foreign Minister Eva-Maria Liimets said on Tuesday.

Moreover, he wants the Western sanctions imposed on the Belarusian authorities to be lifted.

When asked to comment on the recent conversation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Belarusian politician, the top Estonian official voiced Lukashenka’s demands.

“He wants the sanctions to be stopped, to be recognised as head of state so he can continue,” public broadcaster ERR quotes her with reference to ETV’s Aktuaalne Kaamera.

Merkel’s likely successor supports new sanctions against Lukashenka

Last week, amid the ongoing migration crisis at the Belarusian-Polish border, the European Union was reported to be close to imposing more sanctions on Belarus, targeting some 30 individuals and entities including its foreign minister Uladzimir Makey and Belarus’ national air carrier Belavia. In the course of meeting with US leader Joe Biden, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU wouldwiden sanctions against Belarus very rapidly’.

On November 15, the Council of the EU amended its sanctions regime against the Belarusian authorities by broadening the listing criteria on which specific designations can be based. The EU is now able to target individuals and entities organising or contributing to activities by the Lukashenka regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the EU’s external borders.

On the same day, Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation. According to Lukashenka’s press service, they discussed ‘several issues, primarily the situation with refugees on the Belarusian-Polish, Belarusian-Lithuanian, and Belarusian-Latvian borders’.

HR Borrell: ‘Entry in EU is only possible through legitimate border crossings’, following ERR