MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarusian state-owned airline Belavia said on Friday it would stop allowing citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen to board flights from Turkey to Belarus at the request of Turkish authorities amid a migrant standoff between Belarus and Poland.
The European Union says Belarus is encouraging thousands fleeing war-torn parts of the world to try to cross its borders and may impose new sanctions on Belarus and airlines ferrying the migrants as soon as Monday.
The bloc has accused Belarus of mounting a “hybrid attack”, while Kremlin ally Belarus has warned the crisis could escalate into a military confrontation.
“In line with a decision by the … Turkish authorities, citizens of Iraq, Syria, Yemen will not be accepted for transportation on flights from Turkey to Belarus from 12.11.2021,” it said in a statement on its website.
Belavia, which is barred from flying over the European Union after the grounding of a plane earlier this year, continues to fly to destinations like Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova, Gleb Stolyarov; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber/Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn)