Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

EU to donate €7 million to Belarus for establishing accommodation centers for illegal migrants

By Vyachaslaw Budkevich, BelaPAN

EU to donate €7 million to Belarus for establishing accommodation centers for illegal migrants
The European Commission will donate €7 million to Belarus to help it establish accommodation centers for illegal migrants, according to the Belarusian interior ministry's press office.

The funding will be provided in the framework of the European Neighborhood Instrument based on an agreement to be signed by the interior ministry, the European Commission and the Belarus office of the International Organization for Migration, said the press office.

The project will be carried out by the interior ministry in cooperation with the State Border Committee, the foreign ministry, the Belarus office of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and a number of Belarusian NGOs.

The centers to be established as part of the project will only be used to accommodate illegal migrants caught in Belarus. No refugees will be brought from the EU to stay there, the press office stressed.

Migrants will reportedly stay at the centers until all procedures needed for the establishment of their identities and/or their deportation are completed. Illegal migrants apprehended in Belarus are currently held at detention centers run by the police or border control units.

The funding will also be used to help illegal migrants voluntarily return from Belarus to their home countries.