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InvestmentsPoland faces months of migration pressure from Belarus, minister says By Reuters

Poland faces months of migration pressure from Belarus, minister says By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Migrants collect in a camp close to Bruzgi РKuznica checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border within the Grodno area, Belarus November 16, 2021. Maxim Guchek/BelTA/Handout through REUTERS

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The disaster on Poland’s border with Belarus will final months, the Polish defence minister mentioned on Wednesday, as a number of thousand migrants remained stranded on the EU’s jap frontier in what the bloc calls a deliberate blackmail marketing campaign by Minsk.

Nine Polish service members have been injured on Tuesday and Poland used water cannons in opposition to small teams of migrants throwing stones throughout the barbed wire border fence.

Belarusian state information company BELTA mentioned on Tuesday night border guards had began transferring some migrants to a reception centre away from the frontier. Belarusian and Polish border guards mentioned on Wednesday round 2,000 migrants remained on the fence.

European international locations accuse Minsk of flying in hundreds of migrants, primarily from the Middle East, and pushing them to cross the border illegally, as a tactic to punish Europe for sanctions imposed over a Belarusian crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Belarus calls the accusation it created the disaster absurd, however says the EU should elevate sanctions if it needs to resolve it.

“We have to be prepared that this situation on the Belarusian border won’t settle swiftly, we have to be prepared for months; I hope not years,” Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak informed a morning interview with Polish public radio.

Thousands of migrants have been camped out within the woods as winter approaches, struggling from frost and exhaustion, and barred both from getting into Poland or returning into Belarus. At least eight have died for the reason that disaster began this summer time.

The EU has known as on Russia to push Belarus chief Alexander Lukashenko to resolve the disaster. Moscow denies any direct function although it has supplied to behave as an middleman. It has staged army workout routines collectively with Belarus close to the border, whereas calling on the West to resolve variations immediately with Minsk.

Europe has shunned Lukashenko since an election final 12 months which his opponents say was stolen, however Germany’s outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone to him on Monday to demand reduction for migrants caught on the border.

EU IN A BIND

The EU has thus far largely supported Poland’s nationalist authorities in taking a tough line on the border, for concern that permitting migrants to cross would trigger many extra to attempt to enter and journey on to wealthier international locations.

Preventing uncontrolled immigration has been a central political concern for the bloc since 2015, when greater than one million individuals arrived from the Middle East and Africa, straining safety and welfare techniques. Hostility to lax borders was blamed for a surge in nationalist political actions throughout the bloc, and even Britain’s vote to give up.

The EU has since tightened exterior borders and given cash to host migrants in international locations resembling Turkey, and cease them alongside migration routes in Libya, Tunisia and elsewhere.

Rights teams decry the EU’s restrictive ways as aggravating human struggling. They say these on the Polish border are entitled to humane therapy and to have any asylum claims heard.

Police in Germany – a prime vacation spot for immigrants as soon as they attain the EU – mentioned on Nov. 15 they’d registered 9,549 unlawful entries from Belarus through Poland this 12 months. They reported solely 26 such instances between January and July, rising to 474 arrivals in August, 1,903 in September and 5,285 in October.

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