Migrants break through the border from Belarus to Poland

WITHAccording to a Polish media report, two larger groups of refugees have broken through the border from Belarus to Poland on their hoped-for way to the EU. Several dozen migrants managed to destroy fences near the villages of Krynki and Białowieża and to cross the border, reported the Polish news agency PAP on Tuesday evening, citing the local broadcaster Białystok. The station quoted a spokeswoman for the border guards that in both cases fences and barriers had been violently torn down. Some of the refugees have been returned to Belarus, while others have been released.

There are hundreds of people on the Belarusian side. According to the Polish authorities, the refugees had received food from Belarusian organizations, it said. The EU member Poland has stationed thousands of soldiers at the border to prevent the barbed wire from breaking through.

Lukashenko: You want to go to Germany

The Belarusian ruler Alexandr Lukashenko called on Tuesday to let people through. They didn’t want to settle in Poland, but mainly in Germany, he said in an interview.

The politician, decried as the “last dictator in Europe”, has a reputation for allowing people from crisis states such as Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq to be flown in in order to smuggle them towards the EU border. It is believed that he is trying to take revenge for the sanctions imposed by the European Union for suppressing civil society and the democratic opposition. Lukashenko had denied the allegations and held international smuggling networks responsible for organizing people’s trips. He again admitted that he would no longer stop migrants on their way to the EU.

Maas threatens further sanctions

The Acting Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is in favor of sanctions against anyone involved in the smuggling of refugees to Belarus. “Nobody should be allowed to take part in Lukashenko’s inhumane activities with impunity,” said the SPD politician on Wednesday night in Berlin. This applies to countries of origin and transit, but also to airlines that enable people to be transported to Belarus. The EU is ready to “draw clear conclusions here”.


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