BelTA: There is information that the Delegation of the European Union to Belarus has announced a demarche to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with the illegal border crossings from Belarus to the European Union. What are we talking about?
A.Glaz: Today the Belarusian Foreign Ministry held a working meeting with the representatives of the EU Delegation, where the issues related to the situation on the border were discussed. We see it this way. In diplomacy, any demarche must have clear and convincing legal grounds, rather than emotions, fantasies and assumptions. In this case there are no grounds and there simply cannot be any. There are also none in the text of the statement of the EU Delegation you have mentioned.
Unlike the European side, whose representatives introduce a state of emergency in order to conceal their illegal actions from the public Belarus observes all its international obligations and acts with maximum transparency.
We held a briefing at the Foreign Ministry for the heads of foreign diplomatic missions after the death of the Iraqi citizen on the border who had been forcibly thrown out of Lithuania. By the way, the EU Delegation ignored this event for some reason.
We invited European diplomats to go to the border and see the situation themselves, we have nothing to hide. But no one was interested in this proposal either. We facilitated the visit of a UNHCR representative to the border, so he could talk to them personally and see the real situation with refugees on the border with Poland.
We provided access for the Red Cross staff to them. It is the Belarusian side that provides the necessary medical assistance to refugees, those ones the neighboring countries are not willing to accept in violation of international and national obligations. We are ready to continue following this line.
It is, to say the least, incompetent and unprofessional to try to claim that Belarus is somehow involved in the increase in the number of border crossings. We have nothing to do with the real reasons for the increase in migration flows from problematic regions. But the EU countries, as members of well-known coalitions, have a direct bearing on this.
Geopolitically we cannot influence the choice of migration routes and destinations. The EU's statement about the absence of "objective reasons for the increase in the number of illegal crossings" sounds interesting... I guess they could tell that to the citizens of the donor countries, especially in the current situation - Afghanistan.
Proper protection of our own borders remains the most important task for Belarus. We have brought to the European side specific statistical data reflecting the systematic efforts of Belarusian border guards to suppress channels for illegal migration. Unfortunately, we have not heard similar information, backed up by figures, from the European side.
I would like to recall that the European Union was the first to stop cooperation on migration and cross-border issues with Belarus. It is the EU that since April has not responded to our proposals to hold consultations on migration issues.
So, who is actually politicizing migration questions, issuing ultimatums, imposing sanctions, and politically conditioning the resumption of full-fledged cooperation, including the border questions? The answer is obvious.
I will repeat once again what we have already said more than once: Belarus is ready for constructive interaction and cooperation with the EU on these issues. For us, the border is always a line of cooperation, not a line of discord.