Poland Says Belarus Continues To Bring Migrants To Its Border | Refugee News

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Polish border guards said Belarusian servicemen brought around 100 migrants and refugees to its border on Saturday evening.

Poland accused Belarus of continuing to transport migrants to its border despite clearing camps near the border earlier this week, as the country’s prime minister embarked on a tour of the Baltic states to seek support in the crisis.

The European Union accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of deliberately trying to flood the bloc with migrants and refugees in retaliation for sanctions against the country as well as the EU’s refusal to recognize Lukashenko’s legitimacy after an election presidential contested last year.

Minsk, which denies fomenting the crisis, cleared a migrant camp near the border on Thursday and started repatriating some people to Iraq in what appears to be a change of course in the conflict that has turned into a major confrontation .

Yet Poland says Minsk continues to transport hundreds of migrants and refugees to the border, where around 10 are believed to have died as winter approaches.

“On Saturday… a group of around 100 very aggressive foreigners, brought to the border by Belarusian soldiers, attempted to enter Poland by force. The (Polish) services prevented the passage, ”the Polish border guard said on Twitter on Sunday.

The border guard said the incident happened shortly before midnight on Saturday near the Polish village of Czeremcha. Belarusian security forces drove the group to the border in a truck and provided them with wooden planks to cross the barbed wire, a spokesman for the Polish border guards said, adding that the guards had been pelted with stones and blinded by laser beams.

According to the spokesperson, there were 208 attempts by refugees and migrants to enter Poland from Belarus on Saturday – slightly more than on Friday but well below the 501 attempts recorded on Wednesday.

Since Poland does not allow journalists in the region, the data cannot be independently verified.

Neighboring Lithuania said 44 migrants were barred from entering on Saturday, the lowest number in a week.

A dozen Iraqi migrants, speaking to Lithuanian news portal DELFI over the border with Belarus on Saturday, said they were forcibly taken there in military trucks by Belarusian officials, who ignored their wish to return to Iraq.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited Estonia on Sunday morning to discuss the crisis with his counterpart Kaja Kallas. He will visit Lithuania and Latvia later today.

“Today, on the eastern border of Poland, we are dealing with a new kind of war, a war in which migrants are weapons, in which disinformation is a weapon, a hybrid war,” Morawiecki said, adding that further economic sanctions against Minsk were under discussion. .

A SW Research poll published by the Rzeczpospolita daily on Sunday showed that 55.1% of Poles fear the border crisis could degenerate into regular armed conflict.

However, hundreds of people took part in protests in Warsaw and near the Belarusian border on Saturday to call for help from refugees and migrants.

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