Two groups of migrants managed to break through the border fence between Belarus and Poland by crossing the border. The Polish agency PAP writes this, according to several German media. The breakthrough occurred in the two villages of Krynki and Bialowieza. Meanwhile, Poland has announced that it has arrested over 50 migrants on the border with Belarus. “Over the past 24 hours, police have arrested more than 50 people near Bialowieza after they illegally crossed the border,” regional police spokesman Tomasz Krupa told AFP. Also today, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in a joint press conference with EU Council President Charles Michel, accused Belarus of “state terrorism” for the migrant crisis and asked to organize an extraordinary summit via videoconference (before than the one already planned in December) to talk about additional “economic sanctions” against Minsk. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on the situation tomorrow.
EU prepares sanctions
The High Representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, speaking to the European Parliament, announced: “We will adopt a new package of sanctions” against Belarus. “It will be the fifth, which will include those responsible for contributing to the crisis at the external borders. The EU foreign ministers will deal with it next Monday.” The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, added: “We are rapidly widening the sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime”. The head of the European executive also announced that “we will examine the airlines that bring migrants to Minsk with false promises” and “we will try to sanction them because it is a way to facilitate human trafficking”.
The EU strategy against Belarus
The EU member states have reached an agreement in principle to extend the legal framework of sanctions against Belarus to those who favor the illegal smuggling of migrants to the European Union. The framework will now have to be filled with a new list of names and entities. The work from tomorrow will be handled by Coest (the working group that deals with Eastern Europe and Central Asia). The starting point for the discussion foresees the inclusion on the black list of 29 individuals and the Belavia airline, the latter accused of favoring links between the Middle East and Minsk.
Minister Minsk: “West causes migration crisis to impose new sanctions”
Minsk hopes for a “joint reaction” with Moscow to counter the migration crisis: the Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said during a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. Makei also accused the West of having orchestrated the ongoing migration crisis on the Polish border to impose new sanctions against Belarus: “In view of a fifth round of sanctions, already mentioned in the West, the pretext used this time is the migration crisis caused by the EU and its border members from Belarus “.
At least 2 thousand people are stranded in the woods on the border between Belarus and Poland in an attempt to enter the EU, with freezing temperatures and very few supplies of water and food, while military tension rises to alert levels. A migratory crisis on the Eastern European route orchestrated, according to Brussels, by the autocrat Vladimir Lukashenko as a retaliation against sanctions, with a behavior defined by a “gangster regime”. The Belarusian security forces “fired shots in the air, simulating dangerous situations” to further destabilize the situation at the border, the spokesman for the special services of Warsaw, Stanislaw Zaryn, denounced yesterday. “We also know that the Belarusian authorities are helping migrants to destroy the border barriers. We see them bringing them the tools to cut the cables and destroy the fence”, accused Warsaw, which meanwhile has strengthened the deployment of thousands of soldiers. at the border for rejections and said she was ready to defend her territory, warning of a possible armed escalation. On the other hand, the Belarusian Ministry of Defense summoned the military attaché at the Polish embassy in Minsk, rejecting as “groundless and unjustified” the “accusations about the involvement of Belarusian military” and urging Warsaw to avoid any “provocation for justify any illegal bellicose actions “. In this tug-of-war, several hundred migrants, many of whom arrived from the Middle East on sponsored flights from Minsk, remain camped in precarious tents near the Polish border village of Kuznica, separated by a few meters and a barbed wire barrier from the cordon. of the Warsaw security forces. Among them, also several women and children in dramatic conditions and exposed to temperatures that drop below freezing at night.