Russia backs Lukashenko as migrant crisis escalates at Belarus-Poland border

WION Web Team
World Published: Nov 15, 2021, 08:15 PM(IST)

Polish security personnel watch migrants gathered on the Belarusian-Polish border near Kuznica border  Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The Baltic states Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania accused the Lukashenko regime of 'instrumentalising migrants for political purposes'.

Amid tensions at the border over the migrant crisis, Poland's defence ministry said Belarus forces were sending migrants at the Kuznica border crossing.

Amid the escalating crisis, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned the EU will expand sanctions on Belarus and will target airlines which support "human trafficking". 

Some carriers have already declared they won't be undertaking services to Belarus including Turkish Airlines.

Also Read: Lukashenko pitches for Russian missiles

"Further sanctions against Belarus will become effective this afternoon. This is now the fifth wave," the European Commission chief said.

Amid the renewed sanctions, President Lukashenko said he did not want the crisis to turn into a conflict, however, he added that although authorities were telling the migrants to return home but they did not want to go back.

Watch: Humanitarian crisis at Belarus-Poland border

The EU has accused Lukashenko of engineering the migrant crisis as relations between western nations and Belarus have hit rock bottom in the past year amid sanctions and protests in the country against Lukashenko's government. 

Also Read: You are streetwise and I am street tough, Lukashenko to Putin

Meanwhile, the Baltic states Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania accused the Lukashenko regime of "instrumentalising migrants for political purposes".

However, the Putin regime which is Lukasheno principal ally defended the Belarus leader asserting that he wasn't creating the situation at the border even as Polish troops continue to push back migrants.

Reports say at least ten migrants have died at the border amid freezing condictions with several families including women and children stranded at the border as thousands of migrants of Middle Eastern origin have been trying to cross into Europe from Poland through the Belarus border even as aid agencies have warned the situation has led to a humanitarian crisis

(With inputs from Agencies)

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