The European Commission will suspend visas for Belarusian officials in a bid to prevent it from pushing migrants from the Middle East and Africa across its border with the EU bloc.
Neighboring Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have declared a state of emergency following a sharp rise in arrivals on their border with Belarus, accusing dictator Alexander Lukashenko of an act of “hybrid war” in an attempt to orchestrate an immigrant crisis. in the EU.
In a bid to intensify pressure on the Lukashenko regime, which is already under EU sanctions, the European Commission wants to suspend an agreement that lowers the average visa cost to € 35 and reduces waiting times for government officials, parliamentarians and judges. high, although the scheme would still work for ordinary Belarusians.
The move is largely symbolic, as Lukashenko and dozens of his oldest allies are already subject to a travel ban in the EU. In 2020, consular officials in the Schengen area of EU passports issued 134,777 visas to Belarusian citizens.
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