Border between Poland and Belarus: tear gas and stone throwing

According to Polish sources, clashes between Polish border officials and the refugees stuck at the border took place on the border between Poland and Belarus on Tuesday.

Warsaw – “The migrants have attacked our soldiers and officials with stones and are trying to destroy the fence and come to Poland,” said the Ministry of Defense in Warsaw on the online service Twitter. “Our forces used tear gas to stop the migrants’ aggression.”

Meanwhile, the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko assured, according to the state news agency Belta, that he wanted to avoid a “confrontation” at the border. “We cannot allow this so-called problem to lead to a heated confrontation,” he said. “The most important thing now is to protect our country and our people and not allow clashes.”

The EU accuses Lukashenko of smuggling refugees from the Middle East to the EU’s external border in retaliation for sanctions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) therefore phoned Lukashenko on Monday evening to try to resolve the refugee crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. Merkel was the first Western head of government to have spoken to Lukashenko on the phone since the controversial re-election of Lukashenko last year. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said it was mainly about humanitarian aid for the refugees.

The Greens sharply criticized the phone call: Merkel de facto recognized Lukashenko’s controversial re-election.

jep / cp

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