Poland reports two incidents with migrants at the Belarus border

Polish authorities prevented two groups of migrants from crossing the border from Belarus on Thursday night, local police said, citing private broadcaster TVN24, marking a relatively calmer day in a week of tense fighting.
The European Union accused Belarus of mounting a “hybrid attack” against the bloc by encouraging thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and war-torn areas to try to cross into Poland, and is preparing to impose new sanctions on Minsk.

Trapped between two borders, the migrants are enduring freezing weather in makeshift camps.

The Polish Border Guard said on Twitter on Friday that there were 223 attempts to cross the border illegally on Thursday.

Two incidents in the evening involved larger groups: one near Kuznica Bialostocka, where the Belarusian army tried to push some 35 people, mostly women and children, to the Polish side, and another that included a group of around 100 migrants near Polowce, local police said. .

Migrants gather around a fire near a barbed wire fence at a makeshift camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region of Belarus on November 11, 2021. Photo taken on November 11, 2021. ( credit: Ramil Nasibulin / BelTA / Handout via REUTERS)

President Andrzej Duda went to the border late on Thursday, when Poland celebrated its Independence Day.

“I would like to thank all the soldiers, police, border guards and everyone who serves on our border,” he wrote on Twitter. “They protect our safety with their dedicated service. Congratulations and gratitude to them!”

Countries bordering Belarus warned on Thursday that the migration crisis could escalate into a military confrontation, while Ukraine said it would deploy thousands more troops to reinforce its border.

The presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will meet in Vilnius on Monday to discuss the crisis and will speak with Duda via video link, the Lithuanian president’s office said on Friday.

Russia, an ally of Belarus, traded criticism with Western members of the UN Security Council over the crisis, and Russia’s deputy envoy to the UN suggested that their European colleagues have “masochistic leanings.”


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