EU promises unity on Belarus as flags of Poland more border incidents

  • EU executive branch head announces new against human trafficking steps
  • Polish Prime Minister says help diplomacy reduce migrant flows to Belarus
  • More crossing attempts reported at the border

WARSAW/STRASBOURG, Nov. 23 (Reuters) – Thousands of people stranded on the eastern border of the European Union represent an attempt by Belarus to destabilize the bloc, in place of a migrant crisis, and as such call for a coordinated response, the head of EU executive said: on Tuesday.

Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament that the bloc of 27 countries was standing in solidarity with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, who are the victims of what the EU? says is President Alexander Lukashenko’s trick to create a crisis by flying in migrants to Belarus and then them over push the EU borders.

“It is the EU as a whole die is being challenged,” said von der Leyen. “This is not a migration crisis. This is the attempt of an authoritarian regime to try to destabilize its democratic neighbors.” read more

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Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Warsaw’s diplomatic efforts were helping reduce the numbers of migrants die travel to Belarus in the hope of entry in the EU, but Poland and its neighbors warned that the border crisis was far from it over.

Morawiecki, speaking after meeting met the leaders of Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia in Budapest, said Poland had been in talk with the governments of Iraq, Turkey, Uzbekistan and others.

Poland, at odds with Brussels over allegations that it is the . undermined rule of law, has also have reached out to its European partners.

AN government A spokesman tweeted that Morawiecki evicted French President Emanuel Macron . would meet on Wednesday and Polish media reported plans for meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the meetings with Merkel and Johnson.


Von der Leyen said that the EU also coordinating her response to Lukashenko’s challenge with its non-EU partners – the United States, Canada and Great Britain.

To intermediaries die transporting migrants to Belarus from helping Minsk, the EU could blacklist of involved travel organizations in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, she said.

It would be the EU with a legal instrument to suspend operations of to limit of businesses, of even banned them from the EU if they were involved in trafficking in human beings, said EU Commissioner Margaritis Schinas.

“This is not a migration crisis, this is a security crisis,” noted Schinas. According to the EU, over 40,000 attempts to enter the EU via the border met Belarus were prevented in 2021.

Migrants gather during snowfall in a transport and logistics center near the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region, Belarus November 23, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The European Union hit Belarus with sanctions following Lukashenko .’s violent crackdown on protests against his disputed reelection last year, and Brussels agreed earlier this month to extend it to airlines, travel agents and affected individuals in the movement of migrants.


Minsk cleared migrant camps on the border and voted in met the first repatriation flights in months last week and on Tuesday reported that about 120 migrants had left on November 22 and more were due to follow.

But authorities in Warsaw said repeated incidents at the border showed that Minsk may have changed tactics but hadn’t given up plans until use migrants die fleeing the Middle East and other hotspots as a weapon in The score-off with the European Union.

Border guard spokesman Anna Michalska said about 50 migrants tried over to sting on Monday evening, with 18 short over the barbed wire barrier.

Another group of collected similar size but eventually gave up an attempt to be with someone else over to sting location.

“There have been repeated attempts to cross the border over and they will continue,” said Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesperson for Poland’s special services, reporters told.

Polish authorities estimate about 10,000 of more migrants can be quiet in Belarus, he said, creating the potential for further problems.

lukashenko, who denies claims that he fueled the crisis, put pressure on the EU and Germany in in particularly to accept some migrants while Belarus repatriates others, a demand the block has so far flatly rejected it.

Humanitarian organizations say as many as 13 migrants have died at the border, where many have suffered in a cold, damp forest with little food of water as winter set in.

Reuters attended when Syrian siblings who die entered Poland from Belarus, were detained by border guards in near the city of Siemiatycze on Tuesday, if the first snow of winter fell on the forests around the border. read more

In a grim memory of the human toll of the crisis, the imam of burying the Polish village of Bohoniki on Tuesday an unborn child who died by the Polish-Belarusian border in the womb of to be mother.

Halikari Dhaker’s mother miscarry him while she, her husband and their five children crossed the border over through dense forests and wetlands. read more

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Reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz, Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk, Alan Charlish, Jan Strupczewski, Marine Strauss, Sabine Siebold, Andrius Sytas, Yara Abi Nader, Marko Djurica, Fedja Grulovic, Stephan Schepers, Felix Hoske, Sergiy Karazy, Andreas Rinke; Written by Tomasz Janowski; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Alex Richardson

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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