Greece slams Turkey and Belarus using migration for duplicitous reasons to blackmail EU
GMB: Kyriakos Mitsotakis discusses Turkey's immigration 'threat'
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Kyriakos Mitsotakis appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe and looked at the Belarus Government who he accused of manufacturing a crisis for political gain. But Mr Mitsotakis also discussed historical threats from Turkey which last week saw them warning they will open the gates to allow migrants free access into Europe as Greece military is put on high alert. The Greek Prime Minister was concerned about countries exploiting migration for their own political gain and made reference to the UK and France in a bleak assessment for the future of the continent.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, guest presenter Ed Balls spoke with Mr Mitsotakis about migrations in Europe after looking at the Channel crossing figures.
Mr Balls said about controlling borders: “That was certainly the promise in the referendum campaign and it’s proving quite difficult outside the EU as well.
“What’s your reflection on the UK position now?”
Mr Mitsotakis replied: “Policing a sea border is always a very, very complicated exercise.
“When it comes to, I can only draw on the Greek experience, we have a land border with Turkey and we have a sea border with Turkey.
“We’re always very concerned when we see countries using migration for geopolitical purposes.
“Look what’s happening, for example, now, between Belarus, Poland and the Baltic states.
“We saw a similar incident happening in Greece in March 2020 When Turkey tried to put more pressure on the European Union.
“Threatening us with, essentially, encouraging tens of thousands of people to cross into Greece.
“We said no, we protected our border and this incident was never repeated.
“So one needs to obviously work with neighbouring countries and I’m sure that the UK needs to work with France to address this problem.
“And we try to work with Turkey as productively as we can and we call on Turkey to honour its end of the bargain because it has signed the deal with the European Union.”
Belarus is being accused of funnelling migrants and refugees, the majority of which are Iraqi, into the European Union through Poland.
Migrants are being directed towards Poland who are not letting the large crowds in and are then stuck as Belarus also closes its borders.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Shidash told Channel 4 News the route for the migrants is not a natural one and accused Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of manufacturing the crisis.
He also claims Russia is also supporting Belarus in doing this.
Belarus has repeatedly clashed with the European Union who have placed sanctions on the country over its accusations of corruption.
Journalist Roman Protasevich was on board the flight from Greece to Lithuania which was then grounded by Belarus forces who claimed there was a bomb on board.
The journalist was then arrested, sparking outcry from western countries.
Mr Lukashenko has also been accused of rigging elections with EU members placing sanctions on Belarus businesses and airlines.
The President also remarked the UK can “choke” on their sanctions earlier this year and accused the UK Government of being the US’ lapdog.
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