AP: “EU officials have accused Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of using the migrants as pawns in a ‘hybrid attack’ to retaliate for sanctions imposed on his authoritarian regime for a harsh internal crackdown on dissent.”
Europe is once again on the verge of a massive migrant wave as thousands of illegal immigrants converge on its eastern borders. Bands of migrant men armed with wire cutters and shovels have clashed with Polish and Lithuanian border police, media reports say.
The Russian-backed Belarusian regime has reportedly flown in tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Syria and other countries, and is encouraging them to cross into Europe along its borders with Poland and Lithuania.
The European Union has accused the pro-Moscow Belarusian regime of weaponizing the refugees amid growing internal unrest in the former Soviet Republic. “EU officials have accused Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of using the migrants as pawns in a “hybrid attack” to retaliate for sanctions imposed on his authoritarian regime for a harsh internal crackdown on dissent,” the Associate Press reported on Friday.
Belarus is ruled by Alexander Lukashenko, who faces growing pro-democracy movement at home following the rigged 2020 presidential election. Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994, and last year declared himself the winner of the presidential election for the sixth time in a row. His soviet-style regime has close economic and military ties with Moscow, and has recently agreed to create a ‘union’ with Russia.
German public broadcaster DW News reported the worsening situation on the Polish-Belarusian border over the weekend:
Reports from the border between Poland and Belarus are becoming more and more tragic. On Saturday, Polish TV station TVN reported that the body of a young Syrian man aged about 20 had been found in the forest near Wolka Terechowska. “The cause of death has not yet been determined,” a newsreader said, citing Polish border guards.
It also reported that about a hundred people had tried to cross the border at the same place at the same time, but that their attempts had been stopped. It said that Ukrainian and Polish human traffickers planning to drive migrants to Germany had been arrested.
The daily situation reports from the Polish border police have sounded very similar for months. The government has deployed additional police and army units and erected a temporary barbed wire fence.
According to Polish sources, there are some 4,000 people stranded in the area. They are mainly from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, and frequently try to cross the border.
On Saturday, Polish President Andrzej Duda paid a visit to troops stationed on the border and thanked them for their defense of Poland and the EU.
As the influx of illegal immigrant raises tensions between the European government and Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin has thrown his support behind the Lukashenko regime.
Russia and Belarus are staging military exercises to intimidate East European states. “Belarusian and Russian paratroopers staged joint drills on Friday near the Polish and Lithuanian borders,” the Reuters reported.
Moscow is also amassing troops on the Ukrainian border. Around 100,000 Russian troops are now near the country’s border, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy disclosed. “The Russian troop movements near the Ukrainian border have spurred fears of a possible attack. Moscow has dismissed such suggestions as inflammatory and complained about increasing activity in the region by the NATO transatlantic alliance,” the Reuters reported Saturday.
The New York Times reported the involvement of the Belarusian regime in stoking the border crisis:
The Belarusian state-owned airline, Belavia, had increased flights from the Middle East to Minsk, European officials said. The Belarusian authorities eased the issuance of visas through the state-owned travel agency Tsentrkurort, according to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.
Migrants who reached Minsk were put up in at least three government-owned hotels, according to Latvia’s defense minister, Artis Pabriks, and Franak Viacorka, a senior adviser to a Belarusian opposition leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. (…)
Several Iraqi migrants said that the Belarusian security forces provided them with tools to break through the Polish border fence.
Britain has dispatched troops to support the Polish border guards. “British troops are helping the Polish army strengthen its border with Belarus in a show of support as Minsk sends waves of migrants towards the country,” UK newspaper The Telegraph report Saturday.
German has also made a similar offer. “German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has suggested that a “significant” increase in support on the Polish side of the border could identify illegal crossings and arrest people smugglers,” the French TV channel EuroNews reported last month.
While the Lukashenko regime of Belarus is exploiting Europe’s weakness, the EU and the European governments also bear responsibility for the unfolding crisis. Europe’s open border immigration policy continues to lure migrants, mostly young men from the Middle East and Arab North Africa. Europe’s heavy dependence on Russian energy makes its difficult for its leaders to take tough and decisive action against Moscow and its puppet Belarusian regime.
Last month, the EU rejected Poland’s bid to build a border wall on its eastern border. “The EU will not fund “barbed wire or walls,” the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has said, in defiance of calls from some governments to build protective defences against migrants seeking to enter the bloc,” the British newspaper Guardian reported on October 22.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump was widely criticized by the mainstream media when he highlighted Europe’s growing energy dependence on Putin’s Russia. “Germany, as far as I’m concerned, is captive to Russia because it’s getting so much of its energy from Russia,” President Trump warned during the 2018 NATO summit in Belgium. Germany pays “billions of dollars to Russia, and we have to defend them against Russia,” he added, referring to the Russo-German Nordstream pipeline. Currently, more than 40 percent of EU’s gas import come from Russia.
President Joe Biden revised the prudent Trump-era policy, giving German Chancellor Angela Merkel his approval for the Baltic Sea pipeline.
Raw footage: illegal immigrants destroying Polish border fence
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