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Lukashenko says Belarusian authorities will not forcibly deport refugees

The Belarusian president assumed that some of the migrants believed the Western propaganda and are looking for a better life

MINSK, November 26. /TASS/. Belarus will not forcibly deport migrants already in the country, the country’s President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday. He was speaking at the logistics center next to the Bruzgi checkpoint on the border with Poland.

"There is no way we will detain you, put you on planes and send you home if you don’t want to," Lukashenko said, addressing the migrants accommodated in the center. He said that so far about a thousand migrants have already left Belarus.

The Belarusian president assumed that some of the migrants believed the Western propaganda and are looking for a better life.

"Life might be better there than in the land where you came from. But the worst thing, as I see it, is that you, as grownup people, do not see any prospects for your children in your homeland. In a word, the people here are different. But you share the same problem, it is big and common: you just got into trouble. I am sure that this is temporary. We, Belarusians, including myself, will do everything as you wish, even if it is bad for Poles, Latvians and anyone else," Lukashenko assured the migrants.

He stressed that the Belarusian authorities will not do anything forcibly.

"If you want to leave, we will help you. If you don’t want to, we will do everything to save your lives," Lukashenko said.

According to him, the Belarusian side will try to provide migrants with food and clothing. "We will do everything to make your temporary life a little easier. <...> I know that you have already formed a certain leading elite in the camp. This is not bad. Let's keep in touch with all of you through them," Lukashenko suggested.

The migrant crisis on the Belarusian border with Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, where migrants have been flocking since the beginning of the year, sharply aggravated on November 8. Several thousand people approached the Polish border from Belarus. Some of them attempted to cross into Poland by breaking the wired fence. Later on, about 2,000 people were accommodated at the logistics center in Bruzgi, not far from the Polish border. On November 18, over 400 migrants from Iraq were flown out of Minsk by an Iraqi Airways plane, arriving in Baghdad after a stopover in Erbil. According to information from Minsk airport, Iraqi Airways plans two more such flights on November 26-27.