Lukasjenko says the military may have helped the refugees get to the EU | European Union News

Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko has said “it is possible” that his troops helped people across the European Union, but refused to invite them to the country.

European governments blamed Belarus for causing the crisis by bringing in foreigners and taking them to the border with promises to easily cross the bloc. Belarus has denied the allegations, instead blaming the EU for closing its borders.

Asked if Belarus is helping refugees and migrants in Poland, Lukashenko said: “I think it is possible.

“I am the Silavo. We have hearts. “Our soldiers know that the migrants are going to Germany … maybe someone helped them,” he told the BBC. “But I did not call them here,” he said.

Polish border officials on Friday said they were trying to cross from Belarus with two groups of refugees and refugees on the eastern border of the European Union and NATO – one of about 500 people, some of whom threw stones at them. and tear gas, with the help of Belarus. adults. Guards say they arrested 45 people.

Al Jazeera, like all other radio stations, has not been able to confirm on its own what has happened at the border because Poland has banned journalists from entering the 3km (2 miles) zone.

Poland’s case shows that the crisis has not been resolved by Minsk’s apparent change, which on Thursday removed major camps from the border and allowed the first flight back to Iraq in months.

Aid agencies say at least 11 refugees and internally displaced persons have died across the border since the crisis began earlier this year – although the actual number is believed to be higher – as concerns rise in human health during the cold winter months.

Human rights groups say Poland has exacerbated the problem by repatriating those who try to cross. Poland says this is important so that more people do not come.

Refugees warming themselves by a fire near the “Kuznitsa” border on the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus. [File: Maxim Guchek/BelTA via AP]

Poland and its allies accuse Belarus of deliberately seducing thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons, many of them from the Middle East, and sending them across the border with Poland in response to Western sanctions against Lukashenko’s government after holding elections last year.

Minsk, backed by Russia, protested this and criticized the Polish military for its humanitarian action as they opposed people seeking to join the EU.

Lukasjenko and his top counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin, spoke on the phone Friday and stressed “the need for a formal agreement between Minsk and the EU to resolve the crisis”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine, which crosses the borders of Belarus and Poland, said it was preparing “in an orderly and efficient manner” if the crisis were to change in its region.

“We do not rule out the possibility that Russia will choose to send more illegal immigrants from Belarus to our territory,” Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky told parliament.

He noted that the situation on the Ukrainian border was going well, but warned that migrants who chose to cross would be reimbursed by any means necessary, including firearms.

On Friday, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak tweeted that Warsaw was “delighted to accept Estonia’s request to send 100 troops to the border.

Refugees from Belarusian camps were taken Thursday to a large, overcrowded warehouse and journalists were allowed to photograph them. The children were running around Friday morning, with the men playing cards while someone hung from his chest.

“This is not life but this is not eternal, this should only be temporary until they decide our future: take us to Europe or repatriate us,” 23-year-old electrician Mohammed Noor told Reuters.

“What I want for myself, I want more – to go to Europe and live a stable life.”

During this time at a hospital in Bielsk Podlaski, on the Polish side, two refugees who were caught crossing received medical treatment before being taken away by Polish border guards.

Prior to his arrest, Mansour Nassar, 42, a father of six children from Aleppo, Syria, who was traveling to Belarus from Lebanon, described the ordeal he had experienced in five days in the jungle.

“The Belarusian soldiers told us: ‘If you come back, we will kill you,’ ‘she said, weeping in the hospital. “We drank in the ponds … Our people are oppressed all the time.”

Kassam Shahadah, a Syrian refugee doctor living in Poland who treats another hospital, said patients were afraid of being forcibly repatriated to Belarus.

“What they have seen, what they have experienced in this regard is difficult for them,” he said.

The head of the Council of Europe’s human rights body, Dunja Mijatovic, described the humanitarian aid at the border as “dangerous” and called for an end to Polish immigration to Belarus.

“I have personally heard the shocking news of great suffering from poor people … who have spent weeks or months in cold and rainy areas because of these hardships,” he said in a statement.

“All problems must end immediately.”

He also called on Poland to allow freedom fighters and journalists to “as soon as possible and without hindrance to travel to all border areas”.

Belarus reported on Thursday that there were about 7,000 people migrating to the former Soviet Union.

Vladimir Sotnikov, a political scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Al Jazeera that the solution was for the EU to win.

“Maybe, [a] The solution may be .. [for the] INE [to] to accept President Lukashenko as the rightful president, then Lukashenko can initiate talks with the EU to resolve the issue and to reach an agreement, “he said.

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