Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has urged the EU to start talks with Belarus over the same. There are roughly 2,000 migrants who are living in a tent camp
After an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council, various European countries and the US condemned Belarus on Thursday due to the ongoing migrant situation. Hundreds of migrants are trapped on its border with Poland.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has urged the EU to start talks with Belarus over the same. There are roughly 2,000 migrants who are living in a tent camp on the border between Belarus and Poland in extremely low temperatures.
Poland has refused to allow migrants to cross. Poland recently said that it has blocked various attempts by hundreds of migrants to illegally enter the country as it warned of an "armed" escalation. The Polish government held a crisis meeting on Monday and deployed nearly 12,000 troops to the region.
US and European delegations condemned "the orchestrated instrumentalisation of human beings whose lives and wellbeing have been put in danger for political purposes by Belarus."
In a joint statement, they said that Minsk is aiming at "destabilising neighboring countries and the European Union's external border and diverting attention away from its own increasing human rights violations."
Washington and Brussels have called on Minsk to stop what they have termed as an orchestrated influx. NATO also hit out at Minsk, accusing the government of using the migrants as 'political pawns.'
The European Union called for fresh sanctions against Belarus.
Meanwhile, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has issued a warning to the European Union against the imposition of new sanctions.
Lukashenko said he will shut down the transit of natural gas and goods via Belarus to the bloc. "We are heating Europe, they are still threatening us that they will close the border. And if we shut off natural gas there? Therefore, I would recommend that the Polish leadership, Lithuanians and other headless people think before speaking," Lukashenko said.
(With inputs from agencies)