The migrant crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus took a new turn, with Warsaw accusing Moscow of being responsible for the severity of the crisis on Wednesday, amid talk that its consequences could threaten the security and stability of the European Union. While Moscow has denied the allegations, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that it had sent bombs to patrol Belarus’ airspace, while the United Nations described the crisis as “unacceptable”.
Thousands of migrants are stranded at the border
Thousands of migrants seeking to enter Poland were stranded on the Belarusian side of the border, and soldiers were stopped on both sides, raising fears of escalation. Hundreds of migrants faced freezing temperatures and surrounded the border fire between the two countries, blocking barricades and lines of Polish border guards from entering the EU. Large numbers of migrants were able to cross into Poland, a member state of the European Union and NATO. And the agency “Agence France Presse”, citing the Polish police, announced that its agents had detained more than 50 immigrants who had illegally crossed the border from Belarus into Poland.
Poland and other EU member states have accused Belarus of encouraging illegal immigrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa to enter the EU, but Belarus has denied the allegations. Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Mackie has accused the West of creating a migration crisis on the Polish border by imposing new sanctions on Minsk. “In light of the fifth round of sanctions they are talking about in the West, the excuse used this time is the migration crisis created by the EU and its member states that share borders with Belarus,” Mackie said during a meeting. Called for a “joint response” with Moscow. The EU has previously promised to impose additional sanctions on Belarus, accusing President Alexander Lukashenko’s government of using immigrants as political hostages and endangering lives in “thug-style” behavior.
Merkel calls on Putin to intervene
For her part, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to “move” against the “exploitation of immigrants by the Belarusian regime,” his spokeswoman Stephen Seibert said on Wednesday. In a phone call, Merkel’s spokesman tweeted that the outgoing president was “unacceptable” for “exploiting immigrants as a tool” on the Polish-Belarus border. German Foreign Minister Heiko Moss has previously announced his support for new EU sanctions against Belarus, accusing President Alexander Lukashenko of exploiting immigrants on the Polish border.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called the unprecedented immigration crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus “unacceptable” and stressed the need for refugees not to spend another night stranded between the two countries. “I call on the countries concerned to take immediate action to stop the increase and resolve this unacceptable situation,” Bachelet said in a statement. “It is astonishing that a large number of migrants and refugees are still in a desperate situation with temperatures near zero on the Belarus-Poland border,” Bachelet said.
Russian bombs on Minsk
On the other hand, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki blamed Russia for the escalation of the crisis on the Belarusian border, and called Russian President Vladimir Putin the “brain of the crisis”. He warned of the consequences of this crisis on the security and stability of the EU as a whole.
Moscow’s response came Wednesday (Wednesday), when Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a news conference: “We consider the statements of the Polish prime minister that Russia is completely irresponsible and unacceptable for this situation.” The RIA news agency quoted the Ministry of Defense as saying that two Russian strategic bombers had flown over Belarus on Wednesday amid heightened tensions over the migration crisis on their border between Minsk and Warsaw. The ministry said two Tu-22M3 bombers patrolled the airspace to test the Belarus-Russia joint air defense system.
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