Czechs move closer to sending troops to Polish-Belarusian border amid migrant crisis

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The Czech Republic announced on Wednesday that its government has approved a mandate to send 150 troops to the Belarus-Poland border as the migrant crisis continues.

The measure must also be approved by both chambers of the national parliament, which should, according to Radio Europe Libre. This action by the Czech Republic comes just weeks after Estonia and Britain deployed troops to the Belarus-Poland border.

“The government has just approved a mandate to send troops to protect the Polish-Belarusian border. Up to 150 soldiers are ready for a period of up to 180 days. The mandate has not yet been approved by both Houses of Parliament! ” Czech Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar tweeted.

Politico Europe reported around 100 Estonians and 100 Britons were sent to Poland to help secure its border with Belarus.

Thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have gathered on Belarus’ borders with its neighboring members of the European Union. Travel agents and migrants have reported that the Belarusian government encourages easy migration to the country. Upon arrival, the migrants were reportedly taken to the EU border, fitted with wire cutters and encouraged to cross countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia illegally.

The EU accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of fabricating the crisis and of using migrants for its own political ends, namely to destabilize the EU in retaliation for sanctions imposed on his government.

The sanctions were imposed following the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Belarus, a country controlled by Lukashenko – often referred to as “Europe’s last dictator” – for more than two decades.


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