18 Nov 2021 16:05

Some 2,000 of 7,000 migrants in Belarus currently on border - presidential spokesperson

MINSK. Nov 18 (Interfax) - There are about 7,000 migrants in Belarus at present, and about 2,000 of them are currently at the border, Belarusian presidential press secretary Natalya Eismont said on Thursday.

"There are about 7,000 refugees in Belarus now. About 2,000 of them are on the border, at the so-called makeshift camp. And from 200 to 500 others, according to our information, are also on the border, but irregularly, at other points. These are refugees whom the Poles tried to kick out of Poland forcibly after those people had already entered there," Eismont said in a video published on the First Man's Pool Telegram channel, which is close to the presidential press service.

Eismont provided some details of the agreements achieved during negotiations on the migrant crisis between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The European Union shall open a humanitarian corridor for 2,000 refugees staying at the camp. We shall assume the obligation to help the other 5,000 return home as much as possible and as long as they wish this themselves," she said.

"Indeed, unfortunately, only about 400 refugees have agreed to return home. To be more accurate, the plane that departed today carried 374 passengers, who are primarily Iraqi citizens," she said.

The rest of the refugees staying in Belarus are insisting on being granted asylum in the EU, chiefly in Germany, she said.