- Poland closed the Kuznica border crossing with Belarus at 7am on Tuesday. This was announced by the Polish border guards on Twitter on Monday evening.
- In response to the situation on the EU’s eastern border, the EU is partially suspending the visa facilitation agreement with Belarus.
- On Monday, large groups of immigrants near Kuznica tried in vain to break the EU’s outer border from the Belarusian side.
According to the European Commission, there are currently about 2,000 migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border – many from crisis-stricken areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Videos posted on social media on Monday evening could be heard as Polish officials alerted those in the makeshift tent camp about the illegal crossing of the border into the European Union through loudspeakers. A European Commission spokesman has promised short-term assistance to Poland if the government in Warsaw wishes.
Thousands sleep in tents
When the temperature dropped below zero, thousands of immigrants spent the night in tents on the border between Belarus and Poland. In addition to throwing a stone, the local Polish police authority announced on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Belarusian state media have released photos and videos of children and children camping around sleeping bags on the floor in the wild.
The Belarusian media, which is affiliated with the government, reported the alleged shootings on the Polish side, citing the border guards of the dictatorial country. Initially there was no official information from Poland.
The government in Warsaw and the dictatorial Belarusian ruler in the EU, Alexander Lukashenko, have been accused of targeting people from various crisis areas to smuggle them into the EU. Lukashenko, who has been repeatedly criticized as “Europe’s last dictator”, declared that he did not want to stop refugees on their way to Europe in response to sanctions against his country.
Further restrictions have been requested
In view of the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen called for additional sanctions. Van der Leyen said on Monday evening that Belarus must stop the “cynical instrumentation of immigrants”. “I call on the member states to recognize the extended sanctions against the Belarusian authorities responsible for this mixed attack.”
In particular, the European Union is working to allow third country airlines involved in the transport of immigrants to Belarus. EU Commission Vice President Margaritas Shinas said he would visit the countries of origin and transport of migrants in the coming days.
The European Union is canceling some visa offers
The European Union is partially suspending the visa facilitation agreement with Belarus. “This decision is a reaction to the ongoing hybrid attack on the part of the Belarusian regime,” a statement said on Tuesday.
The move was proposed by the European Commission at the end of September in the conflict over controlled migration via Belarus. According to the report, this applies to “officials of the Belarusian regime”. In the future, it will be more time consuming and expensive for them to obtain a visa to enter the EU. Ordinary Belarusian citizens are not affected by this decision. It will now be published in the official journal of the European Union and will take effect two days later. The contract in question is only in effect from July 2020.
Lukashenko, 67, has not been recognized by the European Union as Belarus’ leader since last year’s presidential election, which was widely considered a lie and imposed sanctions. Lukashenko is backed by Russia.
Fears humanitarian catastrophe
EU countries Poland and Lithuania have announced thousands of border crossings in the past few months. Germany is considered a major destination for immigrants. Human rights activists continue to call for help for people stranded in the jungle and warn of a humanitarian catastrophe. Many migrants have already died in the border area.
“Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Zombie advocate. Entrepreneur. Internet evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Typical travel buff.”