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Current Affairs

Poland-Belarus border crisis

Date: 17 November 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Migrants have been camping at the border of Belarus with Poland so as to enter Western Europe in upcoming days.

 

Background

Polish forces have been keeping a keen eye on the development to prevent these migrant groups from entering their territory.

 

Details

Refugees have been arriving in Belarus from all over the world. This comes after Belarusian President Lukashenko ignored calls of the West to implement border security measures.

 

Start of crisis

  • Authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth continuous election amidst opposition. The West rejected the results.

  • Democratic protestors and opposition leaders were arrested and beaten up by the Police, forcing US and EU to impose sanctions on Belarus.

  • The diversion of a flight from its path towards Belarus to arrest a dissident journalist was strongly opposed by European Union, calling it air piracy.

  • The EU has subsequently banned Belarusian planes from its skies and cut imports of Petroleum and fertilizer products from the country.

  • Following these developments, Lukashenko has refused to honour measures to stem illegal migration. He blames lacks of funds to implement the measures.

 

Accusations

  • Opposition has accused Lukashenko of hybrid attacks on EU by offering tourist visa facilities to arrive in Belarus and later move towards EU border.

  • Lukashenko in response has accused EU and West of violating migrants’ rights by denying them safe passage.

 

Response by EU

  • Polish authorities have sent riot police to border areas. Migrants have been using wire cutters and shovels to break through wire fences and cross into Poland.

  • Polish authorities have used strong methods to tackle the problem. Till now eight deaths have been reported.

  • EU is planning on another round of sanctions against Lukashenko and financing physical barriers such as fences along borders.

  • Poland has accused Russia of being the mastermind of the whole crisis as it has provided tactical and financial support to Belarus.

 

Problem in Belarus

Many citizens in Belarus have been uneasy against presence of migrants in their country. Migrants have been facing difficulty as winter strengthens.