- The Polish and Lithuanian authorities have reinforced security on the border with Belarus.
- The reason for this are reports that hundreds of migrants in Belarus have set out on foot towards the EU border.
- According to the Polish authorities, large groups of migrants tried to break through the border between Poland and Belarus. From Tuesday, border traffic will stop at the land border crossing in Konica.
- Belarusian Governor Alexander Lukashenko has been criticized for smuggling people into the European Union.
The dispute between Belarus and its neighboring countries over the border crossings by immigrants is significantly intensifying. On Monday, Poland accused the Belarusian leadership of preparing a “major provocation”. According to Foreign Minister Piotr Wurzyk, the government in Warsaw is preparing for the fact that the leadership in Minsk wants to allow masses of people into Poland.
Videos posted online show migrants heading towards the border into Poland. Polish border guards later posted photos on Twitter of migrants trying to breach a barbed wire fence near the border town of Koznica. The Polish intelligence coordinator wrote on Twitter that the migrants were under the control of armed Belarusian units.
The government of Poland formed a crisis team and reported another hostile act by the neighboring country. Belarusian border guards spoke in the late afternoon of 2000 migrants who wanted to cross the border into Poland. Among them are women and children.
Against this background, according to the authorities, Poland mobilized more troops. According to the Defense Ministry, more than 12,000 soldiers are already stationed at the border.
Due to the situation, Poland will close its border crossing to Kuźnica on Tuesday from 7am, border guards announced on Twitter that evening. Travelers should head to the border crossings at Terespol and Bobrowniki.
Latvia is “scaring” too
Lithuania is also sending more military forces to its border with Belarus in preparation for a possible influx of migrants. Lithuania’s Interior Minister Agni Belutait announced on Monday. According to her, the Cabinet wants to discuss whether to declare a state of emergency in the border area. For security reasons, the authorities did not want to specify how many soldiers should be sent anywhere in the region.
Lithuania recently started building a border wall. The background to this is the growing number of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa who wish to come to neighboring countries via Belarus.
The government of neighboring Latvia described the situation as “alarming”. At the Polish-Belarus border alone, hundreds of people try to enter Poland and the European Union illegally every day. Your destination is usually Germany.
EU Commission criticizes Belarus
The European Commission accuses the Belarusian leadership of organizing border crossings. She talks about a form of hybrid warfare to pressure the European Union in exchange for sanctions against Belarus.
Belarus has denied this. The government is backed by Russian President Alexander Lukashenko. A Kremlin spokesman defended the Belarusian approach to the migration issue.
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