Lukashenko, Merkel discuss migration crisis by phone

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the migrant crisis on the borders between Belarus and the European Union (EU) countries during a telephone conversation on Monday.

The conversation lasted about 50 minutes, according to the Belarusian state news agency Belta.

The two leaders discussed the situation of refugees on the Belarusian borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as ways and prospects of solving the problem in order to prevent an escalation of the situation at the borders.

Lukashenko and Merkel also talked about providing humanitarian aid to the refugees.

Since earlier this month, thousands of refugees from the Middle East and other regions have arrived at the Belarusian side of the border in an attempt to enter Poland and then Germany to seek asylum. Similar tensions also appear on the Belarus-Latvia and Belarus-Lithuania borders.

The EU has been blaming Belarus for the current migrant crisis at its external borders. Foreign ministers of the EU on Monday have agreed on new sanctions against Belarus.

Belarus has denied the accusation and expressed its readiness for dialogue.

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