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 - 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.
A picture taken on November 8, 2021 shows Poland's law enforcement officers watching migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Refugee Crisis at Border With Belarus Novel Type of War, Polish Prime Minister Says

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The situation with illegal migrants on the Belarus-Poland border has deteriorated in recent days, with thousands of people seeking asylum in Europe camping there in the hope of being allowed in by Poland.
Polish forces have used tear gas against refugees and have deployed military hardware near the refugee camp; shots were heard in the area, the Belarusian Border Committee said on Tuesday.
It also believes that the closure of the Kuznica checkpoint on the Polish side could have been caused by Warsaw's attempt to conceal the use of weapons against the refugees.
Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for the border committee in Poland’s Podlaskie region, Katarzyna Zdanovich, said that Polish border guards periodically hear shots on the Belarusian side. She also claimed that Belarus was building up military forces on the border amid the migration crisis.

"We are monitoring the situation from the air. We are observing soldiers there. There are more and more of them," spokeswoman Katarzyna Zdanowicz told reporters.

On Monday, the Belarusian State Border Committee reported that a large group of refugees from Asia and Africa were heading to the border with Poland. The ministry said that the situation with refugees on the border with Poland remained extremely tense. More than 2,000 refugees, including a significant number of women and children, have stopped in front of the Polish barriers on the border line. Polish security forces have refused to let them through, and migrants have been making attempts to overcome the barriers since then.
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23:31 GMT 09.11.2021
Two Large Groups of Illegal Migrants Broke Through From Belarus to Poland - Reports
Groups of at least several dozen people broke through the fence in the area of Krynki and Bialowieza, Polish Radio Bialystok reported.
20:55 GMT 09.11.2021
EU Likely to Impose New Belarus Sanctions Over Migration Crisis Next Week - Reports
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union might impose new sanctions on Belarus next week targeting about 30 individuals and entities including Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei and the country's airlines Belavia, the media reported on Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.

New sanctions can be imposed as a response to the arrival of migrants to the Polish-Belarusian border, which was allegedly organized by the Belarusian authorities, according to Reuters.
19:58 GMT 09.11.2021
Poland Does Not Rule Out That Migration Crisis on Border With Belarus Will Drag on For Years
19:56 GMT 09.11.2021
Poland Urges EU to Impose Sanctions on Airlines Bringing Migrants to Belarus

"Ministers Rau and Kaminski [Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski] are discussing with their EU counterparts the issue of taking a decisive action related to airlines that are used to transport people from the Middle East," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to parliamentary questions on Tuesday.

He added that he had discussed this issue with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
18:23 GMT 09.11.2021
Polish Prime Minister Blames Russia for Directing Migrant Run on Border
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused Russia on Tuesday of pulling the strings behind what Warsaw sees as a Belarusian operation to smuggle migrants into his country.

The Belarusian border agency said on Monday that thousands of mostly Middle Eastern and African migrants had amassed near the Polish border and were trying to force their way across. The Polish parliament called an emergency meeting.

"Russia is carrying on with its neocolonial policy… This is evidenced by the latest attack of [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko, who is the perpetrator. But his sponsor is in Moscow," Morawiecki said in parliament.

The European Union accuses Belarus of pushing migrants across its eastern frontier to get back at Brussels for sanctions, a claim repeatedly denied by Lukashenko, who argues that his government lacks funding. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman denied that Moscow was involved.
18:13 GMT 09.11.2021
West Launched Media Campaign Accusing Russia of Provoking Migration Crisis, Moscow Says
The West, accusing Moscow of involvement in the migration crisis around the EU countries and Belarus, launched a media campaign to evade responsibility, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"I thought it was just the untidiness of the media, which over the past weeks launched this story into life, that Moscow was allegedly behind all this. Then I realized that we were again dealing with some kind of media campaign. Today these guesses and suspicions were confirmed," Zakharova told the Spas broadcaster.

She added that these accusations represented an attempt to get away from reality and an unwillingness to see what the essence of the problem was, and an attempt to find the culprit.
17:20 GMT 09.11.2021
Minsk: Poland's Accusations of Belarus Involvement in Border Crisis Unfounded
The Belarusian Defence Ministry said that accusations of the involvement of Belarusian servicemen in the crisis on the border of the two countries were unfounded.

"On November 8, 2021, at 17:00 Minsk time, on the initiative of the Polish side in the city of Warsaw, a meeting was held between the defense attache at the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Poland, Col. Alexey Bortnik, with representatives of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Poland on the issue of alleged 'breach of the Polish border Belarusian servicemen and their involvement in the migration crisis.' At the same time, no evidence, recorded by means of objective control, was presented," the statement says.

It is noted that in this context, the Belarusian military representative noted the following: "The Belarusian Defense Ministry has always been committed to the principles of good neighborliness and the importance of maintaining a bilateral dialogue to resolve any conflict and disputable situations. According to the Belarusian Defense Ministry, the deployment of 10,000 Polish military personnel at the Polish-Belarusian border (as announced by the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland on October 25, 2021) is a significant military activity."

Also, the Belarusian military attache noted that the implementation of this activity without notifying the Belarusian side was a violation of bilateral additional agreements on regional confidence and security measures. These agreements provide for the notification and invitation of observers of military activities, in which 6,000 or more military personnel take part.

"Until now, Minsk has not received any notification or invitation of observers from the Polish side. In confirmation of its good intentions, the Polish side was offered to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the concerns raised on both sides. However, we have not received a response so far," the defense ministry said.

The ministry noted that "taking into account the above, the Belarusian Defense Ministry considers the accusations of the Polish side unfounded and unsubstantiated, and also that the Polish Defense Ministry is not aimed at a constructive resolution of the issue and deliberately brings the current conflict situation to the political level."
16:25 GMT 09.11.2021
Polish Prime Minister Says Refugee Crisis At Border With Belarus Novel Type of War
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki described on Tuesday the refugee crisis at the border with Belarus as a novel type of warfare and a part of a "coordinated attack."

"We are convinced that the operations that are currently taking place at Poland's eastern border are part of a large operation, a very coordinated attack, which is a new type of war," Morawiecki told the country's lower house.
16:18 GMT 09.11.2021
Lithuanian President Urges EU to Support Construction of Fence on Belarusian Border
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Tuesday called on the European Union to help with the construction of a fence on the border with Belarus and urged the bloc to expand sanctions.
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. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that his country would not prevent the movement of migrants toward the EU anymore as it has no money nor resources to do so due to the sanctions.

As of Tuesday, close to 2,000 refugees have been stranded at the Belarusian border with Poland. The refugees set up a camp to keep warm.

Prague and Warsaw have also called for new sanctions on Minsk following the escalation of the migrant crisis on the border.
16:03 GMT 09.11.2021
The Lithuanian Parliament Declares State of Emergency on Border With Belarus
The Seimas of Lithuania has declared a state of emergency along the border with Belarus amid the situation with migrants.

Earlier, the Lithuanian government decided to declare a state of emergency on the border with Belarus due to the flow of migrants, this decision still had to be approved by the parliament.
According to Sputnik Lithuania, 122 lawmakers backed the decision, one opposed, and there were no abstentions.

The state of emergency will take effect on November 10 and will last for one month. It will be in effect along the border of Lithuania with Belarus, and will also apply to the settlements of foreigners.
15:50 GMT 09.11.2021
Polish Sejm Extraordinary Meeting Over Border Situation With Belarus Underway
The Polish Sejm, the lower house of the parliament, started an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday over the situation at the border with Belarus.

As of Tuesday, over 2,000 refugees and migrants are stranded at the Belarusian border with Poland.
15:14 GMT 09.11.2021
Lukashenko Says Belarus Not Going to Attack Poland
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that Belarus was not going to attack Poland, and explained the situation with Middle Eastern migrants at the border by the EU's desire to divert attention from its own problems.

"Inside Poland, Lithuania, Germany there is the so-called transit of power today. Take the UK, France, they have problems over the top. We did not stand next to them. The peoples are dissatisfied. But how to mix and level this? You should then label someone an idiot, a bastard, a scoundrel who will attack Poland tomorrow. Yes, we never intended and are not going to attack Poland," Lukashenko said.

Lukashenko said that the confrontation on the Belarusian-Polish border over Middle Eastern migrants could lead to an acute phase, in his words, "this is a ground for provocations."

"I already warn my military: carefully, guys, watch out," the president noted.
15:12 GMT 09.11.2021
Moscow: EU's Claim Crisis on Poland-Belarus Border Lukashenko's 'Hybrid Operation' Backed by Russia is Lies
The West should not pretend that what is happening on the border between Poland and Belarus is a kind of "hybrid operation" by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko with the support of Russia, this is lies, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

"They should not pretend that this is some kind of hybrid operation that the president of Belarus is conducting with allegedly some kind of support, that this is an accident, that this is a series of events taken out of context. This is not true, this is a lie," Zakharova said on the air of the Rossiya 1 broadcaster.

Moscow hopes that the West will not avoid responsibility for the situation on the border between Poland and Belarus, Zakharova said.

"We very much hope that the West, the very collective one, will not relieve itself of this responsibility," she said

The moment of responsibility has come for the idea, promoted by the West for many years, that "life by high standards is only there, in the West," she said

The West, in the situation with refugees on the border of Poland, Lithuania and Belarus, demonstrates the violation of the values ​​that it has been talking about for so many years, Zakharova added.
15:08 GMT 09.11.2021
Migrants Receive First Humanitarian Aid From Belarusian Senators and Red Cross Employees
Among other things, migrants were given some drinking water.
15:00 GMT 09.11.2021
Belarusian Defence Ministry Summons Polish Defence Attache
The Defence Ministry of Belarus has summoned Poland's defence attache over "unfounded" accusations about the alleged involvement of Belarusian military in the migration crisis on the border, the ministry said on social media.
14:54 GMT 09.11.2021
Poland is Pulling Military Equipment With Large-Calibre Combat Weapons to Border, Minsk Says
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said that Poland was pulling military equipment with large-calibre combat weapons to the Belarusian border.

"On the border line there are more than 2,000 disadvantaged people [refugees, mostly Kurds], including women and children. All of them are objectively from disadvantaged countries, where Western countries intervened, and speak directly they do not consider the territory of Belarus as their place of stay, want to apply for protection in the EU. Instead, they are gassed, shot over their heads and military equipment with large-calibre combat weapons are being pulled to the border," Makei said.

14:37 GMT 09.11.2021
Duda: Poland Sees Unprecedented Hybrid Attack From Belarus at Border
Poland sees an unprecedented and massive hybrid attack from Belarus at the border, President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday.

"It is obvious to us that we cannot allow illegal border crossings. Poland was ready for such a situation, because a crisis of this magnitude, provoked by the Belarusian regime, has been going on for a long time. But … there has never been such a massive hybrid attack on the Polish border from the Belarusian side. We managed to repulse this attack yesterday," Duda told a press conference.
Duda also said Belarus is not allowing migrants to leave the border area amid the tense situation over the influx of migrants.

"These groups of migrants, a huge group with several thousand people, were de facto taken to the border by Belarusian servicemen, military men. These are servicemen of various Belarusian units. They come all the time behind the groups of these migrants, in an obvious way preventing them from leaving the border zone ... from the Belarusian side," Duda told a press conference.

Poland wants Belarus to allow the passage of its humanitarian aid for migrants, he said.

"We are trying to ensure that our humanitarian aid reaches those who are in Belarus, these migrants. We sent several more humanitarian convoys to border crossings with Belarus, none of these convoys was allowed by the Belarusian regime ... We are ready to deliver them at any moment, if there is such an agreement with the Belarusian regime, now there is no agreement," the president said.
14:11 GMT 09.11.2021
Lukashenko Blames 'EU Mafia' For Transit of Refugees From Middle East via Belarus
13:55 GMT 09.11.2021
Austrian Foreign Minister Not Ruling Out Targeted EU Sanctions Against Belarus
Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Linhart on Tuesday did not rule out the European Union sanctions against Belarusian officials involved in the situation with migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border.

"We, as the EU, must rally and defend ourselves resolutely. This will also include targeted measures against those responsible in Minsk," the minister said, as quoted by the Austrian APA news agency.
13:35 GMT 09.11.2021
Lukashenko on Border Situation: Responding to Migrants With Tanks is ‘Blackmail’
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Tuesday that responding to migrants with tanks today is "blackmail" when commenting on the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border.

"Responding to migrants today with Leopards? [tanks] I am sorry. You and I ... understand what it is like today to wage war with these unfortunate people on the border of Poland, for example, with Belarus, and to put forward columns of tanks. It is clear that this is some kind of training or blackmail," Lukashenko said in an interview published by the Pool Pervogo Telegram channel.

He also said that Moscow will immediately get involved in the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border if Minsk makes a "mistake."

"If God forbid we make some mistakes … it will immediately draw Russia into this situation, and this is the largest nuclear power. I'm not crazy and I know very well what this can lead to," Lukashenko said in an interview published by the Pool Pervogo Telegram channel.

The Belarusian President also said that Minsk calmly responds to the situation on the border.
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