© Reuters. On November 18, 2021, migrants gathered in a transportation and logistics center near the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region of Belarus. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
Authors: Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Andrius Sytas
Warsaw/Vilnius (Reuters)-Polish Prime Minister Mateus Morawiecki warned on Sunday that the immigration crisis at the Belarusian border could be a prelude to “worse things.” Polish border guards said Belarus The army is still transporting migrants to the border.
The European Union accused Belarus of flying thousands of people from the Middle East and forced them to cross the border into the EU and NATO members Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia in response to European sanctions.
Minsk denied provoking the crisis. On Thursday, it cleared an immigration camp near the border and began to repatriate some people to Iraq, while Poland and Lithuania reported that the number of people trying to cross the border has decreased in recent days.
But when Morawiecki visited Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia on Sunday to discuss the situation, he warned that the crisis is far from over.
According to a poll published on Sunday by the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, 55% of Poles are worried that the border crisis may escalate into armed conflict.
“I think the things unfolding before our eyes, these dramatic events, may just be the prelude to worse things,” Morawiecki said in Vilnius.
He pointed out that Russia has increased its military presence in the Kaliningrad enclave close to Ukraine and Belarus and Russia, bordering Poland and Lithuania, as “a tool that can be used directly for direct attacks.”
Morawiecki said that the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over “may be used as the next stage of the immigration crisis.”
Call for support
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Lukashenko twice to seek a solution to the humanitarian crisis, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrid Simonet warned European partners not to ignore Belarus’s neighbors.
“It is very important for us to coordinate any talks (with Belarus) with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, which are at the forefront of hybrid attacks, and we will not make decisions that cannot fundamentally resolve the situation,” she said. After meeting with Moravitsky on Sunday.
The French Foreign Minister said on Sunday that Russia has to put pressure on its ally, Belarus, to end the immigration crisis.
Forcibly brought to the border
Poland stated that Minsk continued to use trucks to transport hundreds of foreigners to the border, and it is believed that about 10 migrants died in the cold winter.
“Saturday… a group of about 100 very aggressive foreigners were taken to the border by Belarusian soldiers, trying to enter Poland by force,” the border guards said on Twitter (NYSE:) on Sunday.
On Saturday, a dozen migrants from Iraq talked to the Lithuanian news portal DELFI on the border with Belarus, saying that they were forcibly taken there by military trucks by Belarusian officials, and that Belarusian officials ignored their desire to return to Iraq.
On Saturday, hundreds of Poles participated in the protest, demanding help for immigrants. The Catholic Church organized a fundraising event on Sunday to raise funds for those in need at the border and support the integration of refugees who remain in Poland.