- Belarusian border guards said the temporary camp for migrants along the Belarusian-Polish border at the Koznica Proszy crossing has been evacuated.
- A spokeswoman for the authority said the migrants would no longer be allowed to enter the green strip along the Polish border fortifications.
- The migrants are now housed in a nearby logistics center.
- After the first case of Covid was reported at the emergency center the day before, the vaccination center is scheduled to start operating there on Friday. A Chinese vaccine is planned.
In the morning, the Belarusian state media again published videos from the logistic hall, which now houses all the people who previously camped in the forest. In the emergency shelter, adults and children were huddled on mattresses on the floor. Accordingly, food was distributed in front of the building.
The unstable humanitarian situation
Because many of the drowned and frozen people sought refuge there, a second floor was also made available for immigrants.
Children’s and human rights organizations have appealed to the EU Commission to protect the rights of migrants at the EU’s external borders. 27 organizations have said that people in the border region with Belarus should be evacuated immediately and given access to the constitutional asylum procedure, according to a message from Pro Asyl in Berlin to mark International Children’s Rights Day on November 20.
They also demanded immediate access to the border area for humanitarian organizations to be able to take care of those in need there.
Putin talks to Lukashenko
Governor Alexander Lukashenko called Russian President Vladimir Putin again. The Moscow Kremlin announced that it was also about a phone call that Lukashenko had with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The chancellor spoke to Lukashenko twice this week to urge an improvement in the humanitarian situation for migrants at the Belarus-Polish border.
London and Tallinn send soldiers
The British government wants to send more soldiers to Poland to support the country in the migration crisis on its border with Belarus. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC that the astronauts would be sent to provide technical support. It was said from the Department of Defense in London that about 100 soldiers should be deployed. Details of the operation have not yet been determined and approved by Parliament.
Estonia also supports Poland. The European Union’s Baltic country will send about 100 members of its armed forces to Warsaw at the request of the government. Among them are the pioneers and the military police, Estonian Defense Minister Kali Lanet said in Tallinn. Therefore, the units consist of regular soldiers, reserves and conscripts.
Putin and Lukashenko criticized the actions of the Polish security forces against migrants, calling them “unacceptable and brutal”. Brute force was used. The Polish side used water cannons on Tuesday to prevent migrants from crossing the secured border into the European Union.
Fewer border crossings into Poland were registered
Meanwhile, far fewer attempts to cross the border by migrants from Belarus were recorded in Poland than in previous days. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said there were still unilateral attempts to reach Poland and thus join the European Union on Friday night. These groups are much smaller than they were in the past few days, when about a hundred migrants tried to get through the border fence at once. This appears to confirm a change of course by the government in Minsk during the migration crisis.
The Polish government and the European Union accuse authoritarian Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of targeting people from crisis regions in order to smuggle them into the European Union. Polish border guards recorded 255 attempts by migrants to illegally cross the external borders of the European Union on Thursday. The authority announced on Twitter that among them were two groups larger than 500 and 50 immigrants.
German rejection of Belarus
Lukashenko’s spokeswoman, Natalia Esmont, said the Belarusian head of state had asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to negotiate a “humanitarian corridor” for 2,000 migrants to the European Union. In return, during a phone call with the chancellor, he offered to try to return 5,000 immigrants to their countries of origin. For many immigrants who entered Belarus on tourist visas, this has raised concerns about deportation.
Going forward, Lukashenko received a refusal in Berlin. According to reports, the Executive Government holds the European Union responsible for questions regarding the humanitarian situation of people trapped in Belarus. On Thursday, it was said from government departments in Berlin: “Germany did not agree to this. It is a European problem that Germany does not tackle alone.”
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also clarified that the federal government had not reached an agreement with Belarus. “This report is wrong,” Seehofer said.
In order to prevent immigrants from being brought into Belarus to be smuggled into the EU, the EU recently threatened to impose tough sanctions on foreign airlines as well. As a result, Turkey, for example, issued a decree that citizens of many Arab countries are not allowed to travel to Belarus from Turkish territory.
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