The EU accuses Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, of trafficking Mideast migrants through Belarus.
There are now as many as 22,000 migrants at the Belarus-Polish border. The migrants hope to get to Germany.
How to Respond to Belarus?
Eurointelligence has these comments on the border crisis.
A large group of some 1500 migrants was sent to the Belarus-Polish border, escorted by armed convoys, some trying to forcefully enter Poland. According to different estimates, between 8000 and 22,000 migrants from the Middle East are now stuck in Belarus, without housing or status.
It's an organised human trafficking scheme, an orchestrated escalation by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime. This would not happen without Russia’s consent. Europe has been pushed around over Nord Stream 2. Now Belarus uses migrants to show that guerrilla tactics can go a long way towards pressuring Poland and the EU.
Poland employed 12,000 soldiers to defend the border behind the barbed fences that migrants tried to cut their way through. What will they do if hundreds or even thousands of migrants attempt to storm through the border defences? Will Poland take this into its own hands? What does the EU have to offer, other than condemning the situation as it is? Muddling through is no longer an option. Minsk, meanwhile, accuses the EU of inhumane behaviour, saying that most of the migrants are Kurds, with Germany being their intended destination, writes Der Standard.
The EU has threatened sanctions against Belarus and Alexander Lukashenko. Belarus responded with measures of its own.
Sanction Tit for Tat From Belarus
At the moment, Poland is fighting off migrants entering their territory with push-backs, illegal measures themselves. What if the Polish let those migrants through, like Hungary did in 2015? Most migrants do not want to stay in Poland anyway. Is the EU prepared for some burden-sharing if they head all towards Germany? Poland has some scores to settle with the EU. It depends on whether they want to meet the EU head on, or in cooperation.
With Belarus, the situation is escalating, with threats and counter threats. Media reports indicate that the EU is about to impose sanctions next week, which may include airlines that fly migrants to Belarus.
To the threat of sanctions, Alexander Lukashenko responded with a counter threat: putting gas supplies to Europe on halt. If he was able to carry through this threat, energy prices could rise even further in the EU and UK. The map from the BBC shows that there are two crucial pipelines running through Belarus.
EU Considers Border Walls
The European Union (EU) said Wednesday that it will begin discussions on potentially funding a wall on its external borders.
The decision was announced by European Council President Charles Michel during a visit to Warsaw, Poland. Michel told reporters that discussions on whether or not to finance "physical infrastructure at the borders" would happen in the coming days.
Poland also has been criticized for its handling of the crisis. Eight migrants were found dead in the swamps and bogs of the Poland-Belarus border. Thousands of migrants, including children, have allegedly been pushed into the swamps by Polish authorities. With temperatures dripping below freezing at night, the United Nations refugee agency and Polish citizens have criticized the nation, with Poland receiving support from other nations after migrants used wire cutters to cut open the borders.
Humanitarian groups and activists are at the border assisting migrants. A group of them allegedly planned to pick migrants up and take them to Germany but were stopped by Polish police on November 9.
The EU ponders walls. Fancy that.
Hello president Biden, are you paying attention? It seems even the EU has had enough.
One way to get EU walls would be for Poland to cut the fences and let the refugees march on to Germany.
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