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InvestmentsNeighbours of Belarus say migrant crisis risks military clash By Reuters

Neighbours of Belarus say migrant crisis risks military clash By Reuters


© Reuters. Polish troopers patrol Poland/Belarus border close to Kuznica, Poland, on this {photograph} launched by the Polish Ministry of Defence, November 11, 2021. MON/Handout by way of REUTERS


By Joanna Plucinska and Andrius Sytas

WARSAW, Poland (Reuters) -Countries bordering Belarus expressed concern on Thursday {that a} crisis over rising numbers of migrants attempting to interrupt by its frontiers into the European Union might escalate right into a military confrontation.

Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia condemned “the deliberate escalation of the ongoing hybrid attack by the Belarusian regime, which is posing serious threats to European security”, referring to costs that Belarus is utilizing migrants as a weapon.

“This increases the possibility of provocations and serious incidents that could also spill over into military domain,” a joint assertion by the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian defence ministers stated.

Migrants stranded inside Belarus threw rocks and branches at Polish border guards and used logs to attempt to break down a razor wire fence in a single day in new makes an attempt to power their means into the EU, the authorities in Warsaw stated on Thursday.

The EU on Wednesday accused Belarus of mounting a “hybrid attack” https://www.reuters.com/world/russia-flies-nuclear-capable-bombers-over-belarus-migrant-crisis-escalates-2021-11-10 on the bloc by encouraging hundreds of migrants fleeing war-torn elements of the world to attempt to cross into the bloc, and is gearing as much as impose new sanctions on Belarus.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to retaliate for any sanctions, together with by shutting down the transit of and items by way of Belarus.

The crisis has sparked a brand new confrontation between the West and Russia, which dispatched two nuclear succesful strategic bombers to patrol Belarusian airspace on Wednesday in a present of assist for its ally. Belarus stated Russian planes carried out drills for a second day on Thursday.

“We have to constantly monitor the situation at the border. Let them squeak, let them shout. Yes, these are bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons. But we have no other option. We must see what they are doing there beyond the borders,” Lukashenko stated.

In feedback revealed by Belarus state media, Lukashenko additionally stated, with out offering proof, that makes an attempt have been being made to switch weapons to the migrants, in what he described as a provocation. It was not clear who he was accusing of doing this.

The Kremlin stated Russia had nothing to do with tensions on the border and steered the presence of closely armed individuals on either side – an obvious reference to Belarusian and Polish border guards – was a supply of concern. The Kremlin additionally rejected as “crazy” a suggestion in a media report that its state flag provider Aeroflot may very well be focused with retaliatory sanctions.


Trapped between two borders, the migrants have endured freezing climate in makeshift camps. Poland has reported not less than seven migrant deaths within the months-long crisis and different migrants have expressed worry https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/no-going-back-migrants-tell-being-trapped-belarus-poland-border-2021-11-10 they’d die.

None of round 150 migrants gathered close to the city of Bialowieza managed to breach the border, the spokeswoman for the border guards service Ewelina Szczepanska instructed Reuters, saying there had been 468 makes an attempt at unlawful crossings on Wednesday.

Neighbouring EU state Lithuania, which like Poland has imposed a state of emergency on the border, additionally reported new makes an attempt to breach the frontier.

Lithuanian overseas minister Gabrielius Landsbergis stated Lithuania requested the United Nations to debate making a “humanitarian corridor” from the Belarusian border for the migrants to return to their nations of origin.

“We have information from social media, that there are people at the border who want to come back, to Iraq and other countries. The only international organization that can pressure Belarus is the United Nations”, he instructed reporters in Vilnius.

Poland’s deputy overseas minister Pawel Jablonski stated the crisis is “the worst threat Poland has faced in the last thirty years”, telling Italian every day La Stampa it expects an escalation within the coming days.

Ukraine stated its border guards, police and the nationwide guard would maintain drills on the border with Belarus on Thursday to guard the nation from potential makes an attempt by migrants to breach the frontier.

While not an EU member, Ukraine is cautious of changing into one other frontier within the crisis.

The EU accuses Lukashenko of manufacturing the scenario in revenge for earlier sanctions after the veteran chief unleashed a violent crackdown on mass avenue protests in opposition to his rule in 2020.

Large teams of individuals fleeing conflicts and poverty within the Middle East and elsewhere began flying to Minsk this spring. They then journey to the border with EU members Poland, Lithuania or Latvia by taxi, bus or vehicles supplied by human smugglers and attempt to cross.

Polish authorities say the quantity of flights to Belarus from the Middle East has elevated dramatically in current months, with the Polish prime minister calling on the EU to take motion to stem the move of airways ferrying migrants to Minsk.

Most migrants use journey companies throughout the Middle East which associate with Belarusian corporations to e-book tourism packages that normally embody visa, flight and lodging.

The worth of the entire journey varies and might attain as much as about $14,000. In October, Minsk restricted the quantity of journey companies in Belarus allowed to ship tourism invites, and smugglers in addition to companies have reported an increase in costs.

Russian flag provider Aeroflot AFLT.MM on Thursday denied any involvement in organising mass transportation of migrants to Belarus, after its shares fell on a information report that it might face EU sanctions over the crisis on the Belarus-Poland border.

Lukashenko and Russia have blamed the EU for the migrant crisis and stated the EU was not dwelling as much as its personal humanitarian values by stopping the migrants from crossing.


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