- Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
Poland-Belarus Migrant Crisis
Tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border flared up in November as Middle Eastern and African refugees started arriving in Belarus to cross into the EU. Warsaw claims Belarus orchestrated the crisis, while Minsk blames the Western military ops for the growing migrant flow.

Belarus' Defenсe Ministry Refutes Claims About Military's Involvement in Migration Crisis

© REUTERS / BelTAMigrants gather near a barbed wire fence in an attempt to cross the border with Poland in the Grodno region, Belarus November 8, 2021
Migrants gather near a barbed wire fence in an attempt to cross the border with Poland in the Grodno region, Belarus November 8, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.11.2021
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MINSK (Sputnik) - The Belarusian defence ministry dismissed Warsaw's claims about border violations by Belarusian servicemen and their alleged involvement in the migration crisis as groundless, and accused the Polish authorities of politicizing the situation.
"The Belarusian Ministry of Defence believes that accusations by the Polish side are groundless and unsubstantiated ... The Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland is not aimed at constructively resolving the issue, it deliberately brings the current conflict to the political level," the ministry wrote on Telegram on Tuesday.
On Monday, Poland's defence ministry held a meeting with the Belarusian defence attache, Alexey Bortnik, about the "violations of the Polish border allegedly committed by Belarusian servicemen and their involvement in the migration crisis."
"No evidence recorded by objective control means was presented," the Belarusian Ministry of Defence continued.
The Belarusian Ministry of Defence qualified the recent deployment of 10,000 Polish troops at the border as significant military activities, stressing that Minsk received no notification from Warsaw and no observers were invited.
"According to the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Belarus, the deployment of 10,000 Polish servicemen at the Polish-Belarusian border, which was announced by the national defence minister of the Republic of Poland on 25 October 2021, is a significant military activity," the ministry wrote on Telegram.
The ministry added that "the implementation of this activity without notifying the Belarusian side is a violation of bilateral additional agreements on regional confidence and security measures."
The ministry explained that these deals provide for the notification about military activities in which 6,000 or more military personnel are taking part, and for invitation of observers.
"Minsk has not received any notification or invitation of observers from the Polish side so far," the Belarusian Ministry of Defence concluded.
In recent months, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania have reported an increase in the number of people trying to illegally cross the border from Belarus, accusing Minsk of using migrants as a "hybrid weapon" against the bloc after it imposed sanctions on the country. Belarus denied all the allegations, saying it could no longer suppress migration to neighbouring countries due to lack of resources caused by Western sanctions against the country.
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