Refugee crisis: Poland accuses Belarus of new tactics

Status: 20.11.2021 1:39 p.m.

Belarusian authorities should encourage migrants to cross the border with Poland in small groups in many places. There is no question that “these attacks” are being controlled, said the Polish Defense Minister.

Poland’s Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak has accused Belarus of changing its strategy in the conflict over migrants on the common border. “Now the migrants and the Belarusian authorities have used a new method,” he told the radio station RMF FM. “Smaller groups of people try to cross the border in many places.” There is “no question that these attacks are being controlled by the Belarusian authorities”.

Polish border guards also reported attempts by several small groups to cross the border.

200 people are trying to break through the border

According to the Polish border guards, several larger groups have tried in vain to overcome the fortification. The incidents occurred near the town of Dubicze Cerkiewne, the authority said. The largest group consisted of around 200 people, other smaller groups also tried to break through the border. “The foreigners were aggressive. They threw stones and fireworks and used tear gas,” it said. According to their own statements, the Polish authorities registered a total of 195 illegal border crossing attempts.

As the Polish police announced, nine suspected smugglers were arrested in the border region. Among them are four Poles, two Ukrainians and one German, one Azerbaijani and one Georgian. You were traveling with a total of 34 migrants. “82 foreigners were asked to leave Polish territory. Two Ukrainian citizens and one German citizen were arrested for aiding and abetting,” said the Polish border guard on Twitter. “We have to be prepared for the fact that this problem will continue for months. I have no doubt that it will be the case,” said Blaszczak.

Demian von Osten, ARD Moscow currently Brusgi, on the situation on the border between Belarus and Poland

tagesschau24 1:00 p.m., November 20, 2021

“I didn’t invite you here”

The European Union accuses Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of organizing migrants from crisis regions to the EU’s external border in order to put pressure on the West. The people from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan entered Belarus on tourist visas.

Lukashenko repeatedly denied the allegations. He told the British BBC that it was “absolutely possible” that Belarusian armed forces would have helped migrants enter the EU. However, he denied organizing the operation. “We are Slavs. We have a heart. Our troops know that the migrants want to come to Germany. Maybe someone helped them,” he said. “But I didn’t invite you here.”

People insist on opening the EU border

For weeks, thousands of people have been stuck in the Belarusian-Polish border area with increasingly icy temperatures. Poland has erected a border fence and gathered more than 15,000 security guards at the border.

The migrants insist on opening the border to the EU. They wanted to stay until the EU let them in, the dpa news agency reported from an emergency shelter in a warehouse in Brusgi. The border point there is closed with concrete barriers and barbed wire.

According to estimates, around 2000 people who refuse to return home and want to go to Germany, Belgium and other EU countries stayed in the accommodation. They are guarded by armed uniformed men and cannot leave the premises. Belarusian investigators also continued to question migrants who had previously been injured by the Polish side when using water cannons and tear gas.

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