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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.

Putin: Europe is Using Migrant Crisis as Pretext to Pressure Belarus

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev / Go to the photo bankRussian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.11.2021
Speaking at a collegium of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs the president touched on an array of issues, ranging from the situation with the migrant crisis at the Belarus-Poland border to NATO's drills in the proximity of Russian borders.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has alleged that western countries are using the ongoing immigration crisis at the Belarus-Poland border as a pretext for escalating tensions and exercising pressure against Belarus – Moscow's neighbour and ally.
"At the same time, they are violating their own obligations in humanitarian sphere", Putin added.
The president condemned Poland for using harsh methods against the migrants trying to cross the border, pointing out that there are many children among them. Putin recalled that Warsaw denounced the use of such anti-riot tools when Ukrainian law enforcement struggled to contain rioters back in 2014.
"I just feel sorry for the children. [Polish forces] pour water and tear gas there, throw grenades there. Helicopters fly along the border and [Polish side] turns the sirens on at nights".
Earlier, Poland refused to accept hundreds of migrants who remain stuck at the country's border with Belarus – mostly Iraqi Kurds. They have repeatedly tried to storm the Polish border, with troops pushing them back using water cannons and tear gas.
Warsaw and other EU countries accused have Minsk of transporting migrants to Belarus on purpose to create an immigration crisis, slapping Belarus with new sanctions for this reason. Belarusian authorities strongly deny the EU’s claims.

Russia is 'Peace-Loving Country', Putin Stresses

The Russian president separately noted the confrontational attitude that NATO has been exercising lately towards Moscow by constantly moving its infrastructure closer to the Russian borders. Putin stressed that NATO's strategic bombers are already flying a mere 20 kilometres away from the Russian borders.
United States Navy destroyer USS Ross has entered Black Sea, to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to strengthening the collective security of NATO allies and partners in the region. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.11.2021
Russia Slams US and NATO's 'Aggressive Military Activity' in Black Sea as Threat to Region
He further lamented the fact that NATO had severed all lines of communication with Russia by expelling its representatives. Putin noted that the Kremlin's decision to close the alliance's offices in Moscow was only logical in that situation.
At the same time, the president stressed that Russia remains a peaceful nation at its core.
"It is important that our fundamental law enshrines such fundamental attitudes and values ​​as loyalty to the Motherland, respect for the native language, history, culture, traditions of our ancestors. That is, everything that unites our people around common ideals determines the vector of development of a sovereign independent a peace-loving Russian state, an active member of the international community".
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held in Dushanbe, via videoconference, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia - Sputnik International
Vladimir Putin
Russian President
After the relations between Russia and the West changed for the worse in 2014, NATO forces have been routinely carrying out flights and naval missions in proximity to Russian borders, especially in the Black Sea and near the country's northwest. The alliance has justified its actions with the need to "contain" Russia and prevent alleged future aggression on its part. Moscow has repeatedly denounced this approach and called for restarting relations.
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