Belarus-Poland migrant crisis, Walesa: “Minsk seeks to destabilize the EU”

The crisis continues on the border between Belarus and Poland, where thousands of migrants have been trying to enter the European Union for weeks. The former Polish president Lech Walesa, interviewed by Corriere della Sera, said that “Belarus is trying to bring through thousands of refugees to destabilize the European Union. Moraviecki’s concern is well founded: Europe cannot accommodate millions of migrants. . But the point is why are all these people trying to get in? The reason is that the inequalities between peoples are too strong. ” According to Walesa, “Russia is basically hostile to the European Union, because it is the main obstacle to its desire to regain the lost republics.” The former leader of Solidarity says that “we do not know exactly what Lukashenko’s and Putin “. Regarding the fact that Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki accuses Angela Merkel of legitimizing the Minsk regime by negotiating with Lukaskenko, Walesa states: “I do not agree with Moraviecki on many issues and not even on this one. The Polish politicians in power today are weak,” while Angela Merkel is a good negotiator and is trying to do her best “. Finally, on the difficult relations between Warsaw and the EU, Walesa excludes a “Polexit” “because even if the Polish rulers are Eurosceptic, the people want to stay in the Union”.

The crisis on the border

On Friday, around 2,000 migrants camped in freezing conditions on the Belarusian border with Poland spent the night in a logistics center after their camp was cleared by Belarusian border guards. People were moved to a large hangar near the border. More than 1,000 people had already been moved to the center on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, Poland explained that two groups of migrants, the largest of which about 500 people, “tried to cross” the border in the last few hours. Warsaw border guards report arresting 45 other people. Polish agents also denounce the throwing of stones by migrants and report the minor injuries of four of them.

EU sources: small steps forward, but the crisis continues

“It is premature” to speak of a de-escalation in the situation on the border with Belarus, EU sources explain. “There have been first small steps that will have to be followed by many others” before we can talk about easing. The signs of relaxation include the repatriation flight to Iraq with 400 migrants on board, and the relocation of 2000 migrants from the border to places where they can benefit from assistance. While the opening of a humanitarian corridor in Europe appears unlikely, UN agencies (UNHCR and IOM) held a meeting with Belarusian authorities on Thursday to talk about returns. And the contacts in Brussels are also continuing. Furthermore, the EU is discussing with the Polish authorities the possibility of bringing in the European civil protection to give support to those stranded at the border, but Warsaw does not seem willing to do so. Meanwhile, in the contacts of the European Union with the Belarusian authorities, calls have been made for permanent access by humanitarian organizations to those trapped at the border. However, there is still no confirmation that the UN agencies have permanent access to the border area, which is controlled by the security forces and which cannot be accessed without authorization.