Europe

Refugee crisis escalates on Polish-Belarusian border

'The Belarusian regime is keeping up its provocations and resorting to the worst possible tactics,' says Poland's deputy foreign minister

Mehmet Yilmaz and Askin Kiyagan   | 09.11.2021
Refugee crisis escalates on Polish-Belarusian border

WARSAW

Belarus is preparing a major provocation near the border, Poland’s deputy foreign minister said Monday.

Speaking to public broadcaster Polish Radio, Piotr Wawrzyk accused the Belarusian government of posting images on social media that feature a large number of refugees who want to cross into Poland.

Underlining that the situation on the border may worsen, Wawrzyk said "Belarus wants to cause a major incident, preferably with shots fired and casualties."

Confirming that hundreds of refugees are marching towards the Polish-Belarusian border, Wawrzyk also said that according to media reports, "there will be an attempt at a mass border crossing."

"The Belarusian regime is keeping up its provocations and resorting to the worst possible tactics," he added.

Meanwhile, Stanisław Zaryn, a spokesman for Poland’s Minister-Special Services Coordinator, said in a Twitter post "there are large groups of migrants in the area of our border, which are fully controlled by the Belarusian services.”

“A coordinated attempt to massively enter the territory of the Republic of Poland by migrants used by Belarus for the hybrid attacks against Poland has just begun," he added.

Videos showing the mass march of refugees towards the border were shared on the official Twitter account of Poland’s Defense Ministry.

The European Union accuses the Belarusian administration of "using irregular migration as a tool" and "trying to destabilize the EU" by sending migrants to the borders of EU countries Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

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