Poland on Friday accused Belarus of transporting hundreds of refugees to the border between the two countries and encouraging them to cross illegally into Polish territory to enter the European Union, an allegation by Belarusian authorities of clearing refugee camps. Came a few hours later, where thousands were hunkered down.
About 2,000 refugees, many of them Middle Eastern, were moved on Thursday to a large warehouse, enabling them to escape the cold outside temporary camp. Many refugees had died from exposure to cold temperatures.
Poland’s charge against Belarus shows that the East-West crisis that has been developing over the past few weeks has not been resolved.
The European Union is closely monitoring the situation at the border, given the prospect of several thousand migrants entering its borders.
Other European countries, along with Poland, have accused Belarus of plotting a border crisis – the allegations have been denied.
But when asked in an interview with the BBC whether Belarus helped migrants cross into Poland, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said, “I think it is absolutely possible. We are Slavs. We have hearts. Our soldiers know that migrants are going to Germany. Maybe someone helped them. I won’t even notice.”
Hours after clearing camps on the border, Polish Border Guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska said that by Thursday evening, Belarus authorities were again sending hundreds of trucks to the site and forcing them to cross into Poland, According to a Reuters report.
“(Belarusians) were bringing in more migrants to the point where there was a forced attempt to cross,” Michalska said. “In the beginning there were 100 people, but then the Belarusian side brought more people in trucks. Then there were 500 people.”
During a news conference, Michalska said that when migrants tried to cross the border, Belarusian soldiers used lasers to blind Polish guards. Some migrants also threw sticks and four guards suffered minor injuries.
Reuters reported that since access to the Polish side of the border is restricted by a state of emergency, Michalska’s account is difficult to verify.
Meanwhile, several hundred refugees decided on Thursday to give up their hopes of entering the European Union and, instead, take an Iraqi government repatriation flight to Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Poland said on Friday that there are no more migrant camps bordering Belarus, according to the Associated Press, efforts are continuing to enter the EU illegally and are becoming increasingly aggressive.
In response to the situation, Ukraine, which shares a border with Belarus, has said it will build a border fence and moat to deter migrants, as well as conduct military exercises.
According to the Associated Press, despite the camp clearing, Michalska said about 50 migrants entered Poland through a fence on Thursday, including a family of five who said they wanted to stay in the country, the settlement. start of processes.
Some information for this report has been received from The Associated Press and Reuters.