More than 400 migrants who traveled to Belarus to cross the border into the European Union (EU) returned home this Saturday (4) on an Iraqi Airways plane bound for the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, Minsk airport said .
Last Thursday, the EU imposed sanctions on Belarus after accusing it of transporting migrants, mainly from the Middle East, and forcing them to illegally cross the Polish border to incite a crisis – something Minsk denies.
Minsk airport authorities said in a statement that a Boeing 747-400 would transport 415 adults and four children on Saturday to Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region.
Later, the airport’s website reported that the flight had already taken off.
Iraqis who fled in search of economic opportunity and, in some cases, political asylum began returning to their country last month, unable to enter the EU along a route that smugglers promised would work.
Russia, which supported Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko’s government during protests last year, on Saturday criticized the new EU sanctions as illegal and said the issue should be resolved through dialogue.
Reference: CNN Brasil