MINSK, 30 November (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the refugee crisis and the EU's approaches to handling this problem in an interview with Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of the Russian state news agency MIA Rossiya Segodnya, BelTA has learned.
"When the EU terminated the readmission agreement, I said back then: well, since they decided to break this agreement, to stop cooperating with us on border protection issues, it was their problem. But I would not defend them anymore the way I did last year. They heard it all. So did the organizers," the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko explained that in accordance with the agreement, Belarus had to readmit migrants who came to the EU via its territory and place them in temporary facilities. "The facilities should have been built by them [the European Union]. They started building them and then stopped. I, in turn, stopped readmitting them [migrants] from there,” the president said. “They were the first [to terminate the agreement] and they do not want to discuss this topic now. When President Putin and I talked about the root causes, I told him that that was where it all started."
In this regard, the head of state recalled the sanctions imposed on Belarus: "They have thrown a noose around our neck, are tightening it and demand we protect them. At the very start I laid the blame on them, it was them who decided to aggravate the relations. They blame us for the plane landing and so on and so forth. Although they are yet to present a single piece of evidence. They have chosen the policy of strangling Belarus.”