The Hungarian Foreign Ministry has acknowledged issuing a special visa to a Belarusian sports official, which enabled him to travel to the Czech Republic after he was expelled from that country for not respecting COVID-19 protocols.
Such a move would run counter to the European Union’s decision to block a visa facilitation agreement for officials linked to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, who has served as Belarus’ president for nearly three decades and with whom Viktor Organ, the Hungarian prime minister, has maintained a cordial relationship. .
Moreover, the Belarusian sports official, Uladzimer Bazanau, and his wife were suspended in Opava, the Czech city, ahead of the World Cup qualifiers between the Belarusian women’s football team and the Czech women’s team, which were later canceled due to the outbreak. of COVID-19 infection in the Belarusian team. Bazanau’s site is on the sanctions list for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Czech Republic, TheSchengen.com reports.
The Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed RFE/RL that it had issued Bazanau a 90-day Schengen visa on behalf of Switzerland and that the official had received an invitation from UEFA, the European sports body. Swiss officials have yet to comment.
>> The European Union introduces new measures to tighten controls on the EU’s external borders with Belarus
The new sanctions imposed by the 27-nation bloc earlier this month targeted 17 individuals and 11 entities over the crisis on the eastern border of the European Union and were announced in a publication later on December 8 in the bloc’s Official Gazette. So far, the European Union has targeted 183 Belarusian individuals and 26 entities with sanctions.
The United Kingdom, the United States and Canada have also imposed punitive measures on officials in Belarus, including a complete asset freeze on OJSC Belaruskali potash fertilizer.
Currently, the bloc is dealing with the migration crisis on the eastern borders, including Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, the latter accepting migrants in the country and then pushing them towards neighboring countries, specifically Poland. This action left many people frozen to death, as they spent days stranded in the woods of the Poland-Belarus border.
In response, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for additional sanctions against Belarusian airlines, as 1,000 migrants were stuck at the border on the orders of Lukashenko.
In addition, the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang previously reported that the documents of the migrants were found at the border with Poland, where they stayed for weeks, indicating that the migrants were brought to Belarus under false promises from local travel agencies, implying that the new arrivals would be As well. Able to easily reach Western European countries.