Over 50% of the Belarussian air fleet is managed through Irish leasing companies, it has been disclosed.

There is a crisis at Poland's border with Belarus, where thousands of migrants have been attempting to enter EU territory.

The spotlight has fallen on Irish leasing companies providing aircraft that may have facilitated the collection of migrants from the Middle East and Africa by the Minsk regime.

The EU is finalising a fresh round of sanctions on the regime of Alexandr Lukashenko.

It is understood the national carrier Belavia, which relies on Irish leased aircraft, will be included in the list of targetted sanctions because of its role in flying migrants to Belarus who are then taken to the borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

It is understood the Irish Government is working with the European Commission to find ways to prevent Irish registered airlines being leased to the Belarussian national carrier, as part of the fresh package of sanctions.

Officials say there are legal complications due to existing contracts that Irish leasing companies may have with Belavia.

Some 50% of world leased aircraft are managed out of Ireland.

Among the complications are the fact that if existing contracts are terminated, the leasing companies may potentially seek to recoup losses and assets.

This would include repatriating aircraft currently on the ground in Belarus.

It is understood that while repatriations themselves would not fall foul of EU sanctions, in that they would still be able to be repatriated through EU airspace, physically returning aircraft would still require the permission of the Belarussian authorities, which may not be guaranteed.

Officials have said that re-registering aircraft that have been registered with the Belavia fleet can be costly and complex.

Aircraft can only registered in one place at a time.

The Irish Government supports the latest round of sanctions, including those on Belavia. Officials have pointed out that Ireland is a co-sponsor of the latest round of EU sanctions.

"At the invitation of the Department of Transport, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs participated in an online meeting with representatives of a number of aircraft-leasing companies on 27 October," an official said.

"Officials explained the background to proposed new sanctions on Belarus and answered questions. Ireland fully supports and is co-sponsoring the 5th package of sanctions, as was the case with the 4th package earlier this year as well," the official added.