Belarus-Poland crisis worsens; Here’s a look at the ongoing crisis

The humanitarian crisis has worsened in Belarus- Poland border as thousands of migrants have been joining the stranded crowds near the border, hoping to cross into the bloc. Many of the migrants are reportedly from the Middle East and Afghanistan and they camped in an unoccupied area between Belarus and Poland after being denied entry into the European Union country.

The crisis started in Europe after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko reacted strongly to EU sanctions. The bloc convicted Minsk in May of forcibly diverting a passenger jet and later arresting rebel journalist Roman Protasevich on board.

After posing stringent measures on Belarus by the EU, Lukashenko’sgovernment took the decision that the country would end its efforts to prevent undocumented immigrants and refugees from entering the European Union, arguing the bloc’s sanctions deprived his government of the funds needed to do so. Since then, there witnessed a large increase in the number of people attempting to cross the border that includes EU member states bordering Belarus, like Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland.

The situation of the migrants is so worst that they have been stranded on the border for days in near-freezing temperatures, erecting a tent camp and burning wood to stay warm.  The majority of them are young men, but there are some women and children. Meanwhile, around 4,100 asylum seekers have entered Lithuania illegally via Belarus – 50 times more than the whole of 2020.

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President Lukashenko’s aim is clearly political. Many foreign leaders and envoys have come forward to talk about the ongoing crisis at the border.  Western countries also accuse  Belarus on this issue but Belarus denies the charges and blames the West.

There have been reports of illegal so-called “pushbacks” being conducted, with Polish guards accused of returning undocumented migrants to Belarus.

However, Belarus continues to deny the crisis and warns that Western powers will not be able to end it if it does not remove the fines previously imposed on Lukashenko’s government.