Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) on Wednesday said Belarus' leader Alexander Lukashenko must "avoid [a] humanitarian emergency" and called for UN agencies to be allowed to work in the country.
Kallas spoke with President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday evening about the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border where thousands of migrants have gathered for more than 10 days.
The Estonian prime minister said new sanctions must be enforced on Belarus as soon as possible. The EU is currently finalizing its fifth package of sanctions.
Writing on social media after the phone call, she said: "Lukashenko has responsibility to avoid [a] humanitarian emergency, he must allow UN aid agencies to become fully operational in Belarus."
Yesterday, the EU allocated €700,000 in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable people stranded at the border.
Had a call with @vonderleyen regarding joint efforts to stop hybrid attack at EU-Belarus border. Agreed that new sanctions must be enforced asap. Lukashenka has responsibility to avoid humanitarian emergency, he must allow UN aid agencies to become fully operational in Belarus. pic.twitter.com/t6GIHEKjM3— Kaja Kallas (@kajakallas) November 17, 2021
Von der Leyen also spoke with other members of the Baltic and Ukrainian governments on Wednesday.
After the call, Lithuania's Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonyte said appeasing Minsk "will only encourage rogue behavior".
In a telephone conversation wth President @vonderleyen, I stressed a need for the united EU stance in pressing Lukashenko to stop migration flows and let international humanitarian organizations do their job in Belarus.— Ingrida Šimonytė (@IngridaSimonyte) November 17, 2021
Appeasement to dictator will only encourage rogue behaviour
Editor: Helen Wright