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3 Feb 2017

Refugee camps in Belarus ‘out of the question’

Refugee camps in Belarus ‘out of the question’MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – No camps for refugees have been built or will be built in Belarus. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with representatives of the general public, Belarusian and foreign mass media on 3 February, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko said: “I sometimes look at Europe and feel sorrow for what is going on over there and for the leaders over there. They cry and whine as they divide the refugees between countries. One country gets 500 people. Another gets 1,000. The Baltic states and Eastern Europe countries won’t take even 1,000. Meanwhile, Belarus has welcomed about 170,000 people from Ukraine and other countries. How did we do it? I signed the decree and they were offered all the conditions Belarusians enjoy. Do you think it was easy on us? And Europeans keep arguing about one thousand. Let’s work together.”

Alexander Lukashenko also mentioned mass media reports that state that Belarus is building refugee camps because the European Union had allocated €7 million for it. “I asked the chief of the Belarusian border service what camps are being built. He said if they were building anything, they would have told me right away because I am the commander-in-chief. What do the news reports refer to then? He said that since Belarus and the European Union intend to cooperate in migration affairs, we’ve asked the European Union for money — I always say pay us and then we will put effort into protecting you — to build temporary accommodation centers at the border where we would like to put the people we apprehend until we decide what to do with them,” said the President.

“I thought okay, we are civilized people, temporary accommodation centers are necessary and so on when we have signed readmission agreements all the way from Russia to China and Afghanistan, not only with Western countries. So, we came to terms and they sent us the people, who had allegedly crossed our border into the European Union. We put the people into these camps and have no idea what to do with them. We need a [readmission] agreement with the countries they had come from so that we could send them there. Only then I will be able to take care of the matter. There are still details to be addressed so we are not even close. We’ve been promised €7 million for setting up the accommodation centers for foreigners at the border. There is nothing wrong with it. We will continue apprehending illegals anyway,” noted the head of state.

“But we have never built and will not build any refugee camps,” assured the President. Alexander Lukashenko also remarked that he will never allow the creation of some cesspool in Belarus. “It will never happen,” he vowed.

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