Sunday, December 5

Dozens of migrants detained in Poland after ‘crossing the Belarusian border’

Poland said Wednesday that dozens of migrants have been detained after breaking through barbed wire barriers to cross the border from Belarus and enter Polish territory.

“In the last 24 hours, the police have detained more than 50 people near Bialowieza after they crossed the border illegally,” regional police spokesman Tomasz Krupa told AFP.

He added that two separate groups of migrants were involved, some of whom managed to escape after being arrested.

“The situation is not calm,” Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Polish radio. He added that small groups were still trying to cross the border.

The Polish Defense Ministry has accused Belarusian forces of firing into the air in an area where migrants have set up a makeshift camp. The published ministry a video on Twitter with the sound of what sounds like a gunshot.

It is impossible to verify the information independently. Poland has imposed a state of emergency that prevents reporters, activists and any other non-residents from entering a border area.

Meanwhile, Belarus has accused the EU and the West of “provoking” the border confrontation.

Lithuania declares state of emergency

In Lithuania, a state of emergency came into effect at midnight, which is to last for a month along its border with Belarus. At least 170 migrants were prevented from entering the country on Tuesday.

The measure restricts the movement of vehicles and imposes a ban on entering a zone five kilometers inland, except for residents. The guards can carry out checks within the area. It also prohibits gatherings in the area and applies to migrants in other places as well, including the capital Vilnius.

The latest developments come amid the most tense period to date, after months of heavy migration across Belarus’ borders with Poland, Lithuania and, to a lesser extent, Latvia. The three countries of the European Union are located on the eastern border of the 27-nation bloc.

The European Union has accused the regime of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko of trying to create instability with a new wave of mass migration to the EU. Belarus has been accused of organizing the transport of people from Middle Eastern countries, tricking them into believing they can enter Europe.

Minsk and Moscow reject the accusations

Belarus continued its attempt to blame Poland and the West on Wednesday, a day after Lukashenko accused Poland of waging a “war” against immigrants.

Turning the accusations against Minsk, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makeï said that the migration crisis had been “caused by the EU and its member states bordering Belarus”, and that it was being used as an “excuse” to impose a “fifth round of sanctions”. .

Speaking from Moscow when he met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Makeï added that the two countries were working for a united response to “hostile acts” against Belarus.

Lavrov agreed, stating that they had stepped up their collaboration “to counter a campaign against Belarus unleashed by Washington and its European allies within international organizations.”

The Kremlin has rejected the allegations by Poland’s prime minister, who claimed on Tuesday that President Putin was orchestrating the influx of immigrants as a “sponsor” of Lukashenko’s actions.

Dmitri Peskov described Mateusz Morawiecki’s comments as “absolutely irresponsible and unacceptable.”

Angela Merkel joined the debate on Wednesday, and Germany’s outgoing Chancellor called on Vladimir Putin to “intervene” to resolve the crisis.

Moscow’s role in the influx of immigrants has come under increased scrutiny this week. The EU said on Tuesday that Russia is among 20 countries suspected of participating in the transport of people to Belarus.

EU leaders allege that Belarus is retaliating for the sanctions the bloc imposed on the authoritarian government in Minsk for its brutal crackdown on national dissent.

Thousands of people were jailed and beaten after months of protests in the wake of last year’s presidential elections that Lukashenko is believed to have rigged to win a sixth term.

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