News   /   EU

Belarus, Poland trade barbs over attempted crossings of asylum seekers

A picture taken on November 8, 2021 shows asylum seekers at the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region. (Photo by AFP)

Belarus has condemned Polish accusations of coordinating an unprecedented wave of asylum seekers attempting to illegally cross into Poland as “unfounded”, warning against “any provocations” directed against Minsk.

Poland on Monday banned hundreds of asylum seekers, mostly from the Middle East, from illegally entering the central European country from neighboring Belarus, and warned of an "armed" escalation with thousands of stranded migrants near the border.

Warsaw claimed that Minsk was coordinating the migrant influx, saying the border crisis threatens the security of the entire European Union (EU).

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki issued the warning after visiting the border.

“Sealing the Polish border is our national interest. But today the stability and security of the entire EU is at stake,” he wrote on his Twitter on Tuesday.

“This hybrid attack of (Belarusian President Alexander) Lukashenko’s regime is aimed at all of us. We will not be intimidated and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and EU.”

 

Sealing the polish border is our national interest. But today the stability and security of the entire EU is at stake. This hybrid attack of Lukashenko’s regime is aimed at all of us. We will not be intimidated and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and EU.

— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) November 9, 2021

 

Belarus, however, denied the charges that it was coordinating the attempted crossings.

The Belarusian defense ministry in a statement on Tuesday said it considers the accusations of the Polish side “unfounded and unsubstantiated", accusing Warsaw of "deliberately" escalating tensions.

The ministry said Poland had sent 10,000 military personnel to the border, while joint security agreements stipulate that observers should be present at any deployment of more than 6,000 troops.

“We would like to warn the Polish side in advance against any provocations directed against the Republic of Belarus to justify illegal use of force against disadvantaged, unarmed people, among whom there are many children and women,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, Belarusian Interior Minister Ivan Kubrakov told the state-run news agency Belta that the migrants were in the former Soviet country "legally," stressing that “there have been no violations of the law on the part of migrants so far.”

The European Union claims that Lukashenko has encouraged the migrant flow in retaliation for existing sanctions imposed by the bloc on Belarus, but Lukashenko has denied the allegations.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Press TV News Roku