Crisis worsens on Border between Poland and Belarus as migrants converge and troops are mobilized

In the latest in a weeks-long migration crisis at the border, the head of the Polish Border Guard said that groups of people tried to break the border on Monday evening.

“The situation at the border is difficult. More groups of migrants are led to the border. Attempts are being made made until force across the border,” said Ewelina Szczepańska, adding that she was sure that the Polish troops could handle the situation.

Poland’s defense ministry said earlier on Monday on Twitter that a group of migrants is currently located close to Kuznica.” post was accompanied by aerial images met great crowds getting together on the Belarusian side of the border. The Ministry added later that: “Currently, migrants set up a camp in the Kuznica region. They are constantly monitored by the Belarusian services.”

the spokesman for the general headquarters of Polish Border Guard, Michał Tokarczyk, told CNN: “Belarusian services are moving large groups of migrants to the Polish border. We are waiting for their further move and we are prepared for any scenario.”

In a follow-up statement, Tokarczyk specified that there are currently about 4,500 border guards and about 9,500 Polish army soldiers stationed at the border as “a group of several thousand migrants are on their way to the Polish border.”

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The Belarusian State Border Committee, that is responsible for the country’s external borders, said the migrants at the border want to enter Poland as a refugee and not pose a security threat.

AN growing number of people illegally crossing the border met Poles crossed from Belarus in recent weeks. According to Tokarczyk, since August more more than 30,000 migrants have attempted to enter the country.
Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has been accused before of cause a migrant crisis on the border by the prime ministers of neighboring countries Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, leading Poland to pass a bill in October for the construction of An wall along the border with Belarus.
European officials have also accused Belarus of encouraging people illegal over to Poland, and its other neighbors of the European Union, as part of attempts to apply pressure on the block over far-reaching sanctions die it imposed on Minsk in June. EU, US and UK sanctions were a coordinated response to the Lukashenko government’s emergency landing of a Ryanair flight and arrest of An opposition journalist on board, as well as “continuous repression” in the former Soviet state.

Border crisis spat

In another tweet on Monday, the Polish minister of Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak, thousands of soldiers were “willing to defend the Polish border.”

“More than 12,000 people to be on duty at the border… We raised the state of alert,” Blaszczak wrote.

Meanwhile, the Polish Territorial Forces also said in a tweet that the alert level was raised to support the Border Guard, adding: “Soldiers! Check your gear and communication equipment, let your employers and families know.”

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The Polish Ministry of Home Affairs and Administration said earlier on Twitter that migrants on the Belarus side had stopped until now on Monday and that the situation in Kuznica is under control.

It posted video met Polish police and other armed personnel standing by a barbed wire fence, with the migrants on the Belarus side. Meanwhile an urgent government A crisis meeting was called amid mounting tensions, the Interior Ministry said.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote: on Facebook: “The border of the Republic of Poland is not just a line of a map. It’s sacred — the blood of Poland was spilled over generations to protect it!”

Lithuania — die shares a border with both Poland and Belarus — said it is redeploying troops as tensions continue to escalate, according to the Lithuanian Border Guard Service and reported by LRT, the Lithuanian public broadcaster.

“We are preparing for all possible scenarios,” the public broadcaster quoted Rustamas Liubajevas, the head of Lithuanian Border Guard, as mentioned.

Took a picture on Monday shows migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region.

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya pushed for a strong response from the EU and the United Nations.

Belarus regime escalates border crisis – migrants are pushed armed to EU border men’ she tweeted. ‘The migrant smuggling, violence and mistreatment must stop.’

Belarusian response

Belarusian President Lukashenko’s government has repeatedly denied that a migrant crisis has arisen and blames the West for the crossings and treatment of migrants. CNN has reached out to the Belarusian government for comment.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday defended Minsk .’s treatment of the migrant issue, and said Belarus was taking all necessary measures to act legally.

The Belarusian State Border Committee also said in a Facebook statement: “Foreigners who to be in near the border with Poland declares its intention to enter the territory of a neighboring country and exercise their right to apply in to serve for refugee status in the European Union. All of this people, including women and children, do not pose a security threat and do not behave aggressively.”

Migrants approach a barbed wire fence along the Belarusian-Polish border.

The Belarusian State Border Committee added it didn’t rule out provocation of the Polish side. “Taking into account met the statements of Polish officials over the concentration of armed forces and equipment near the border we do not exclude provocative actions by the Poles side aimed at justifying the use of physically force and special resources against refugees.”

In a later statement, the committee added: “The situation on the Belarusian-Polish border remains extremely tense. More than 2,000 refugees, including a significant number of women and children, to be in front of the Polish barriers along the border… Refugees repeatedly tried to inform the Poles side that they had left their countries because their life was in danger.”

It then accused Polish security forces of use tear gas on the migrants and using “aviation to exert psychological pressure”, which led to some of they attacked the Polish barriers.

Charities say migrants face grueling conditions when crossing the border from Belarus in to freeze weather with a defect of food and medical assistance.

Polish authorities said seven migrants are found dead on Poland’s side of the border, with reports of more deaths in Belarus.

humanitarian groups also blame Poland’s ruling nationalists of violating the international right to asylum by pushing migrants back to Belarus instead of accept their requests for protection. Poland says his actions are legal.

CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse, Allegra Goodwin and Eliza Mackintosh contributed to this report.

Read More: World News


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