Since Monday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned Afghans, Iraqis, Yemenis, and Syrians from boarding flights to Belarus.
That country is accused of bringing in migrants and then sending them across the border into EU member states.
The decision was passed on Sunday to Belarusian airline Belavia, which flies between Dubai and Minsk, and follows Turkey’s lead. Since Friday, that country no longer allows citizens from Iraq, Yemen and Syria to fly from Turkey to Belarus.
That same day, Iraq cancelled all direct flights to Belarus to protect Iraqis from people smugglers.
Thousands of migrants have flown from the Middle East to Belarus in recent months, onward to the European Union. Belarus would help them cross to EU member states, but thousands of migrants are trapped in the border area near Poland and Lithuania due to tightened border security.