The state-run airline for Belarus has banned Iraqis, Syrians and Yemenis from boarding incoming flights from Turkey at the request of Ankara.
This comes as Minsk faces accusations of bringing vast quantities of migrants to send into Europe via the bordering countries of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
This has resulted in tensions flaring up between Poland and Belarus as both countries have sent troops to the border to patrol the situation, which has left migrants in poor conditions and unable to leave.
Belarusian soldiers are preventing migrants from heading back into the country while Polish soldiers are preventing them from crossing the border, leaving them trapped.
Recently, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating the crisis amid additional accusations that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is synthesising a migrant crisis in retaliation against sanctions imposed on it by the EU.
Belavia Airlines announced that as of today, citizens from Iraq, Syria and Yemen will not be allowed to board flights from Turkey “in accordance with the decision of competent authorities in Turkey”.
The actions taken by Lukashenko have received condemnation from both the EU and the US, accusing Belarus of using people as weapons and as blackmail.
A joint statement from US and EU delegations following an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council read that Belarus is “destabilising neighbouring countries and the European Union’s external border and diverting attention away from its own increasing human rights violations”.
It added, “It demonstrates how the Lukashenko regime has become a threat to regional stability. We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop these inhumane actions and not to put people’s lives at risk”.