The EU has actually implicated autocratic Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko’s routine of “gangster” behaviour for tempting migrants to Europe under “false pretences” and motivating them to go into the bloc unlawfully.
Tens of countless migrants have actually tried to go into the EU by means of Belarus in current months, in a rise that authorities think is managed by Minsk in retaliation for the bloc’s assistance for Belarus’s opposition.
The crisis, which has actually smouldered given that the summertime, appeared on Monday after a group of numerous migrants utilized tree trunks, spades and shears to attempt and require their method into Poland near the border town of Kuznica, where they were fended off by Polish security forces.
“The way Lukashenko’s regime is conducting this operation is very inhuman, unacceptable and actually illegal,” EU commission representative Peter Stano stated on Tuesday. “The Lukashenko regime is starting to behave as a gangster regime.”
Poland has actually released countless soldiers to its eastern frontier to enhance the border guard and on Tuesday early morning it closed the check point at Kuznica, among 3 crossings into Belarus. Officials quote that there are presently in between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants at the border.
Lithuania on Tuesday stated a state of emergency situation at its own border with Belarus to avoid migrants from going into.
Warsaw has actually gotten support from throughout the EU, with commission president Ursula von der Leyen requiring member states to enforce additional sanctions on Lukashenko. Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer has actually advised the bloc to assist Poland deal with the rise in migrants.
“What is happening now [is] a hybrid threat,” Seehofer stated in an interview with Germany’s Bild paper. “We want controlled migration to Europe, not politically organised migration.”
Commission authorities are likewise thinking about enforcing sanctions on airline companies from nations such as Turkey and Russia that they think are associated with “migrant trafficking” to Belarus.
However, Lukashenko seemed pushed by assistance from his Russian equivalent Vladimir Putin after talking with him on the phone on Tuesday and sending his foreign minister for 2 days of talks in Moscow.
Russian assistance was important for Lukashenko in fending off a substantial wave of demonstrations versus his suspicious re-election last summertime. In return, Moscow has actually pressed Minsk to embrace a variety of financial arrangements that bind the 2 nations better together, numerous of which the 2 presidents signed recently.
In an interview broadcast on Belarusian state media on Tuesday, Lukashenko stated the EU was trying to divert attention from its own domestic issues by blaming Belarus for the crisis and recommended that the border stress might be a start to full-on military dispute.
“They have problems going through the roof. Nothing to do with us. People are upset,” Lukashenko stated. “How do you sweep it under the rug? By calling someone an idiot, a low-life, a scumbag, who’s going to attack Poland tomorrow.”
In an indication of Russian assistance, Kremlin representative Dmitry Peskov in turn stated that Belarusian forces were dealing with the migrants “very responsibly” and declared the crisis was blowback from western interventionist policy in the Middle East.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recommended that the EU needs to offer monetary support to Belarus to motivate it to stop the rise in migrants, comparing the scenario to Brussels’ handle Turkey throughout the 2015 migrant crisis. He included that Europe had a duty to accept the migrants.
“They don’t want to stay in Belarus, they want to go to Europe, that same Europe that has been advertising and promoting its way of life for may years. You need to answer for your own words and deeds,” Lavrov stated, according to Interfax.
Additional reporting by Valentina Pop in Brussels