- 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.

UK's Truss Urges EU to Block Nord Stream 2, Demands Kremlin Pressure Belarus to End Migrant Crisis

Nord Stream 2 pipes - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
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Warsaw and several other states have baselessly accused Belarus of orchestrating the migrant crisis on its border with Poland. While Minsk is accused of retaliating against Brussels’ sanctions by using what has been dubbed a "hybrid weapon", Belarus stressed it has no resources to stop the migrants due to sanctions imposed by the EU.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has publicly intervened in the migrant crisis unfolding on the Poland-Belarus border, telling Russia’s President Vladimir Putin the Kremlin had a “clear responsibility” to end Minsk’s attempt to use “desperate migrants as pawns” to destabilise the region.
Writing for The Telegraph, Truss warned that the UK was prepared to act “robustly, decisively and relentlessly” in response to “malign actions, wherever they are in the world”.
“Russia has a clear responsibility here. They must press the Belarusian authorities to end the crisis and enter into dialogue,” wrote Truss.
The UK Foreign Secretary echoed the earlier statements of some EU countries, such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, as well as the US, denouncing the “shameful manufactured migrant crisis” that she claimed was being stoked at Europe’s eastern borders.
Truss insisted that Britain would “not look away” in a situation when its European allies were being forced to “bear the brunt” of a “carefully crafted crisis” designed to distract from a “litany of abhorrent acts and human rights violations” ostensibly perpetrated by Alexander Lukashenko’s government.
“We will stand with our allies in the region, who are on the frontier of freedom. We are not just standing side by side with Poland as they bear the brunt of this shameful manufactured migrant crisis, but also others in the Visegrad Four – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – and our friends in the Baltics and Ukraine,” said Liz Truss.
Truss also urged the European Union to reconsider dependence on Russia for gas supplies by cancelling the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
© Sputnik / Press-service of Eugal / Go to the mediabankIn this handout photo released by the press-service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany
In this handout photo released by the press-service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
In this handout photo released by the press-service of Eugal, a view shows the Eugal pipeline, in Germany
Nord Stream 2, the 745-mile pipeline which consists of two tubes with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, was completed on 10 September. It is set to deliver gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Currently, the process of certifying Nord Stream 2 AG as the pipeline’s independent operator is underway to ensure the project complies with the conditions of the 12 February EU Gas Directive.
Truss, however, appealed to the EU to block the approval of Nord Stream 2, reiterating earlier allegations by the US and the UK that the project risks rendering Europe more dependent on Russian gas. Furthermore, fervent critics of the project have argued that it gave Russia increased leverage over Ukraine by cutting it out as a transit country.
“It risks undermining European security by allowing Russia to tighten its grip on those nations who rely on its gas, despite the pandemic reminding us about the importance of having diverse supply chains to avoid being strategically dependent on unreliable partners,” Truss said of Nord Stream 2.
In response to all allegations, Moscow has repeatedly voiced assurances that there is no political component to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and that it is a purely economic project not intended to be used as leverage against Europe, as Washington has suggested.
The British Foreign Secretary went on to underscore that her nation “should be deepening investment and trade ties with countries that follow the rules and allow free market economies to thrive. We cannot, and will not, ever give succour to those who want to undermine freedom and democracy”.
© REUTERS / HANDOUTHundreds of migrants gather at the Belarus side of the border with Poland near Kuznica Bialostocka, Poland, in this photograph released by the Polish Defence Ministry, on 8 November 2021.
Hundreds of migrants gather at the Belarus side of the border with Poland near Kuznica Bialostocka, Poland, in this photograph released by the Polish Defence Ministry, on 8 November 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
Hundreds of migrants gather at the Belarus side of the border with Poland near Kuznica Bialostocka, Poland, in this photograph released by the Polish Defence Ministry, on 8 November 2021.
The remarks by the UK Foreign Secretary come after on 11 November the UK sent a small team of military personnel to Poland, with the 10 soldiers to visit the border at the request of the Polish government to help repair or reinforce the fencing. According to the Ministry of Defence, the mission was focused only on “engineering support to address the ongoing situation at the Belarus border”.
The recent statements by UK officials come amid their fear that the current migrant crisis at Poland’s border could spill over to Britain. Many of the migrants seeking entry into the EU may potentially travel through France in an attempt to cross the English Channel to subsequently reach Britain.
© AFP 2022 / BEN STANSALLUK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020
UK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
UK Border Force officials travel in a RIB with migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, as they arrive at the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020
Almost 1,200 illegal immigrants arrived in the UK on 11 November on small inflatable boats from France and Belgium, setting a new daily record. More than 23,500 have made the crossing from France so far this year, a sharp rise on the 8,404 in 2020. With the UK government paying instalments of £54 million to France to help stem the flow of small boats, MPs are slamming the French for not doing more.

‘Thoughtless’ Policy of the EU

Regarding the situation on the Polish-Belarus border, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on 11 November, urged the importance of an early settlement of the “acute migration crisis”, in accordance with international humanitarian standards.
Putin also called for the restoration of communication between the EU countries and Belarus to solve the issue. Belarus has dismissed all accusations that it is waging a "hybrid war" against the European Union on the Belarusian-Polish border.
© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankA Polish soldier on duty near a camp of illegal migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border
A Polish soldier on duty near a camp of illegal migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border - Sputnik International, 1920, 14.11.2021
A Polish soldier on duty near a camp of illegal migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border
Everything that is happening is the result of the “thoughtless policy of the EU, connected with the statehood devastation in a number of countries, and also with the fact that they had invited refugees and declared that they are ready to shelter them," according to Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also underscored that the migrant flows currently seen at the border of Belarus and Poland resulted from the policy NATO and EU countries have been pursuing in the Middle East and North Africa for years. He referred to the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Western-backed Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa. He also urged the EU to offer financial assistance to Belarus to deal with the influx.
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