Thursday, 18 November 2021
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
41. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on engagement he has had with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus on the situation facing migrants on the Belarussian-Polish border; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56564/21]
The Taoiseach, Minister Byrne and I have had no recent bilateral contacts with the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Makei.
It is important to engage at different levels to stop the weaponisation of migration, and Ireland’s engagement on this issue has been multilateral, through both the UN and EU. Through our membership of the UN Security Council, we co-sponsored a discussion on this matter at the Security Council only last week.
Ireland has supported the graduated imposition of EU restrictive measures against the Belarusian regime since October 2020. EU Foreign Ministers agreed a broadened listings criteria for the application of sanctions at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday 15 November. Ireland is co-sponsoring this fifth package of EU sanctions, which are being introduced in direct response to the instrumentalisation of migrants. We also support EU outreach to countries of origin to stem the flow of migrants to Belarus, by communicating the considerable risks and dangers associated with facilitating irregular migration.
The Taoiseach and I, and most recently Minister of State Byrne, have all met with leading opposition figure Ms. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to demonstrate Ireland’s solidarity and support for civil society in Belarus in these difficult times.