Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has met with European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas in Ankara to discuss issues concerning irregular migration.
In a statement on his Twitter account, Çavuşoğlu expressed that they “discussed irregular migration issues in the region with Schinas, including in Belarus.”
According to information from Schinas’ delegation, the EC Vice President is expected to meet with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Friday.
A dramatically growing number of irregular crossings have been reported by EU countries bordering Belarus — Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland — since August 2021.
Sharply increasing from just 150 in 2020, over 8,000 people have tried to enter the EU via the Belarus-Poland border thus far in 2021.
Belarus reaches out to potential travelers through seemingly official channels, including diplomatic missions and travel agencies, and invites them to Belarus by offering visas, according to the EU. They are allegedly guided to the EU border afterward.
At least 2,000 people, including women and children, have been stuck in the Belarusian-Polish border area in dire conditions over the last week.