The committee wants to create a policy for combating what it considers “hybrid wars”.
On Tuesday, the European Commission proposed targeted actions to clamp down on transport companies that “engage or assist in smuggling/trafficking of persons into Europe”-a move to prevent Belarus from sending migrants across its border to the European Union.
“We propose rules to blacklist any means or methods of transport involved in human trafficking and the smuggling and trafficking of migrants.” SaidChairman of the committee was Ursula von der Lein. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian leader, was asked by the committee to do everything possible to send migrants to Europe’s border in retaliation to his regime’s “hybrid war”.
These measures — which must be approved by the European Parliament and member states — blacklist any transport company involved in helping migrants enter EU airspace, land at airports, arrive at ports, or cross EU territory.
Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean stated that the list will last up to one year, and once the regulation is approved, the list can be updated based on individual circumstances determined by the committee.
She compared the measure to EU regulations which prohibit airlines not adhering to safety rules from being allowed into the EU.
These measures will put greater pressure on Belarus to stop transporting people from Middle East to Minsk, before they attempt to enter the European Union via Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Belarus had transferred a passenger aircraft to Minsk in order to arrest an opposition blogger. In June, Belavia, the state-owned Belarusian airlines was prohibited from flying into EU airspace and landing at any Union airport. These sanctions led Lukaschenko to intensify its population smuggling operations.
The European Union pressure forced Iraqi Airways, the national airline of Iraqi Airways, to cancel scheduled flights to Minsk for August. Cham Wings Air, a Syrian airline, also had to cancel its flights to Belarus due to the threat of additional sanctions.
Turkish Airlines announced earlier this month that it would no longer sell one-way tickets from Turkey to Belarus for people coming from many Middle Eastern countries. Belarus announced that it would no longer allow citizens of Syria, Iraq, and Yemen to board flights from Turkey into Belarus.
Uzbekistan also prohibits transit passengers from six countries from flying to Belarus.