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13 December 2021, 13:42

Lukashenko: Belarus is not forcing refugees to return home

MINSK, 13 December (BelTA) – Belarus is not forcing the refugees staying on its territory to return home, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in an interview to the Turkish broadcaster TRT on 9 December, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that none of the refugees are being forced to leave Belarus and return home.

“I promised them not to do that. If you can cite a single factor name a person who is being forced to leave Belarus and I will personally deal with it. We are not barbarians to force people into places where they might face death. People know that if they go back to their homeland they will die,” the president said.

The head of state said that the refugees that are staying on the Belarusian-Polish border, are “recommended to decide on their future”. “It is already winter, and you see how cold it is. They and their children will simply not survive there. We provide them with everything they need, including food, clothing, bathing, laundry services, medical care, especially for children. It costs us a lot, so people have to decide what they will do today and tomorrow. We encourage them to make the decision, but by no means are we going to force them back home,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“We do not have the right and simply cannot force these people back home. During the Second World War we, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Russians, were refugees. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Muslim republics of the Soviet Union, and also Iran and Iraq sheltered our people and also Poles: the Poles mostly fled to Iran and Iraq. There were also many of them in Turkey and Syria. You sheltered them back then, during the Second World War. Now the situation is reversed. Why should we treat them in a barbaric way now?” asked the Belarusian leader.

The president added that Belarus' ideology is simple - if you help people who are in trouble today, they will help you in the future.

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