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French Foreign Minister Hopes Putin Puts Pressure on Belarus to Resolve Migrant Crisis

© Sputnik / Go to the photo bankA 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, 21.11.2021
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PARIS (Sputnik) - French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed hope on Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will intervene in the situation with migrants on the Belarus-Poland border and put pressure on Minsk to resolve the crisis.

"Putin has close ties with [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko, he must have his ways to react, to put pressure, diplomatic or other, since the countries are connected by history, neighbourhood, economic and political cooperation", Le Drian told French broadcaster RTL, adding "President Putin promised to intervene in the situation, I hope he will do so".

The French foreign minister also noted that it is important to maintain dialogue with Russia on matters of common interest even if it sometimes acts as an "unbearable neighbour".
The statement comes after on 15 November the French and Russian leaders agreed over the phone to cooperate on mitigating the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
Over the past few weeks, thousands of migrants from the Middle East have amassed at the border between Belarus and Poland in the hope to enter the European Union.
© 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, 21.11.2021
Migrants gather near a barbed wire fence in an attempt to cross the border with Poland in the Grodno region, Belarus November 8, 2021
Poland stepped up border guard and deployed the military to prevent illegal border crossings. Warsaw accuses Minsk of facilitating the migration crisis, but the Belarusian government denies all allegations.
Latvia, Lithuania and Poland have been reporting an influx of migrants from Belarus since summer, claiming it was orchestrated by Minsk in retaliation for EU sanctions over alleged human rights violations in the country. The EU has in turn adopted a new package of sanctions on Belarus over the matter.
Moscow said it was in contact with the EU and Belarus concerning the issue.
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