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Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert called Belarusian President Lukashenko’s treatment of migrants and refugees ‘completely unacceptable’ during a federal press conference in Berlin on Friday.

“The Belarusian ruler Mr. Lukashenko exploits refugees and migrants, and that is completely unacceptable. And at the same time, effective border protection must always respect humanity and applicable law," said Seibert.

Seibert called for ‘humane solutions’ in order to provide migrants at the Poland-Belarus border with ‘clothing, food and necessary medication’.

The statement came amid reports of migrants freezing to death whilst attempting to flee Belarus, due to falling temperatures.

Seibert also commented on irregularities during voting in Sunday’s federal election, stressing, "those responsible clearly have to work out what has happened."

SOUNDBITES:

SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): “The Belarusian ruler Mr. Lukashenko exploits refugees and migrants, and that is completely unacceptable. And at the same time, effective border protection must always respect humanity and applicable law. From the point of view of the Federal Government, it is primarily important that the people who are now on the border, those seeking protection, that they quickly receive the necessary support, especially now with falling temperatures, so that they can get clothing, food, the necessary medication. So humane solutions for these people have to be found quickly. But of course they must also be in accordance with European and national law at the entrance, and with European values. It is also important that the Polish side acts transparently. The European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ms. Johannsen, yesterday discussed the situation in the border region with the Polish Minister of the Interior in Warsaw.”

SOT, Annika Einhorn, Spokesperson for Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (German): “Without a doubt, the numbers that have now been published, the most recent numbers, already show considerable increase in prices, which is why we have been keeping a very close eye on this over the past few months. But we must also not forget that this is primarily about a number of special effects that are now also increasing the inflation figures, which we have already pointed out in the past in the past few months. On the one hand, there was the VAT cut last year, which was then dropped this year and therefore simply changed the base prices. Next year there won’t be this effect. And then there is, as already discussed in the previous question about energy prices, an increase in import and raw material prices, now also in the wake of the revived global economy after the COVID crisis. We see that with the energy prices, we see that with the raw materials. But nonetheless, despite these special effects, we should of course continue to observe this, and we will do so.”

SOT, Steffen Seibert, German government spokesperson (German): “We can understand every Berlin voter who was surprised on Sunday with how things went in individual polling stations, some of them were also massively annoyed, the ballot was missing and other things have been reported, and it’s clear that that arises urgent questions. As the spokesman for the federal government, I am now not in the role of giving the answers to these questions. I already told you on Wednesday that the Federal Election Commissioner had requested a detailed report from the regional Election Commissioner here in Berlin, and that will of course have to be evaluated. It is the responsibility of the relevant Berlin authorities and those responsible clearly have to work out what has happened.”

SOT, Andrea Sasse, German Foreign Ministry spokesperson (German): "We continue to assume that the elections can take place as planned on December 24th, this was also emphasised by all participants at the meeting in New York, that that should happen according to these expectations. As you know, the Libyan government also took part in the meeting, and we are also in talks with the Libyan government on the ground. But at this point there is no point in commenting on individual developments in Libya itself from the sidelines. It’s all about that there should be progress in Libya, which Libya itself is expecting to truly take place. We support that and and are trying to create the conditions for this within the framework of the Berlin Process, together with the Libyan government.”

#Lukashenko #Bundespressekonferenz #Germany #Belarus

Video ID: 20211001-021

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