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The tense and chilling migration crisis that broke out at the gates of the European Union

The symbol of the latest immigration drama at the gates of the European Union (EU) is a cluster of barbed wire fences. On the one hand, between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants numb from the cold cry out to be allowed to cross from Belarus toward Poland. Some are tired of waiting in tents under the weather and carry logs and shovels to try to break through. On the other side, 15,000 Polish soldiers block the entrance and use tear gas, loudspeakers and strobes against the displaced. There are troops deployed from both countries.

No one knows exactly how many migrants have died of hypothermia on the border between Belarus and Poland in recent months. Authorities counted at least 10, but the arrival of the cold in the northern hemisphere raises fears of a greater tragedy in the coming weeks. The displaced, mostly Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, can no longer endure the freezing temperatures. But it is the lack of humanity and indifference that chills the most.

As the European Union accuses the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Russia, to encourage migrants to cross the border in revenge for the sanctions imposed against them, Minsk says that the European bloc caused this crisis to be able to impose new sanctions against their country. Migrants are in the middle waiting for a resolution.

The migrants have settled in tents near the barbed-wire border, lit by bonfires.  (Photo: Reuters)

It is clear that the most worrying thing is that up to 4,000 people are trapped at the border, unable to cross into the EU and unable to return. They are cold (freezing temperatures at night), and very little food and water. This morning the death of another person was reported. This will become more and more likely with the arrival of winter. The migrants here seem determined to stay until the EU allows them to enter, but for now that seems extremely unlikely.“, he says Trade Paul Adams, BBC Diplomatic Affairs Correspondent.


Poland, its European neighbors and NATO have stated that, by allowing migrants to pass through the gates of the EU, Belarus, backed by Russia, has launched the “hybrid war”, as the use of various kinds of means and procedures in a conflict is known.

This is a time of great tension between Belarus and its EU neighbors (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia). They all accuse Lukashenko to wage a ‘hybrid war’ against the EU, using immigrants as a weapon. Lukashenko rejects the accusation, blames the EU for the problem and says that while he doesn’t want a confrontation, he can count on Russia’s support if things get worse”Says Adams.

The border crossings between Poland and Belarus where there is a migration crisis.  (AFP)

For the Italian internationalist Francesco Tucci it is clear that migrants are being used as a means of pressure. “It is a shame. Belarus is putting pressure on Poland on purpose. Belarusians are pushing migrants to the Polish border to cross, prompting a violent response from the Polish Army”, He points out to this newspaper.

It also emphasizes that Poland -which is a member of the EU and part of NATO- is convinced that behind the actions of Belarus there is Russia.

One of the hybrid war doctrines is called Gerasimov, which refers to a Russian general who spoke of the need not to use military force directly, but rather to use social networks or other levers. In this case we have as another lever to irregular migration”, He says.

The EU and Germany have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to intervene to end this crisis.

Poland denounces an "attack" by Minsk and has deployed a major device of 15,000 soldiers on the border.  (Photo: EFE)

(Photo: AP)


The scenario has generated an escalation of tensions that will inevitably continue. The European Commission (EC) affirmed this Wednesday the 10th that The EU, for the time being, will respond by imposing new sanctions against individuals and companies in Belarus.

While, Russia and Belarus made a common front in the migration crisis and have accused Brussels of creating with its own hands the problem on the border with Poland. The Kremlin, which denied being behind the crisis, sent two nuclear-capable bombers to patrol the airspace of Belarus, in support of its ally.

Images released by the authorities of the two countries show hundreds of men, women and children in tents or on the ground.  (Photo: EFE)

Tucci claims that tensions will continue to rise, but not only between Belarus and the European Union, but also within the bloc because of Poland’s response to what is happening.

You will have to be careful with the answer, It cannot be a military response, they cannot shoot migrants, the EU does not allow it. So, a very tough stance on the part of the Poles can create tensions with the European Commission, especially since in 2015 countries like Poland and Hungary were against distributing quotas of irregular migrants arriving in Spain, Italy and Greece. So if migrants finally enter now and Poland asks that they be divided into quotas, the southern European countries could have a rigid stance, remembering that the Poles were not supportive in 2015″ Says the expert.

At least ten migrants, according to official figures, have died in the region since the beginning of the crisis, of which seven from the Polish side, according to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.  (Photo: Reuters)

He also points out that if this migratory movement is really part of a Russian strategy to destabilize the West, in this case the European Union, it seems to work. “Then the tension is going to be much higher both within the EU and between the EU and Belarus, but the Lukashenko regime continues with this policy because it has the backing of Russia”, he says.

Regarding the future of migrants, Adams believes that they believe that this is another moment like 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the doors of Germany.

But times have changed and that political will no longer exists. All the talk in the EU right now is about the right of countries to defend their borders and on how to impose more sanctions on Belarus (and the airlines involved in the migrants’ flight to Minsk from across the Middle East and beyond). There seems to be no interest in letting immigrants in. Currently, Iraq is not considered a dangerous enough place, so it is unlikely that Kurds will be granted asylum, even if they cross legally“, Explain.

Geopolitics is ugly and migrants, who in a way know they are being used by Lukashenko, are caught in the middle”, Adams sentence.

Migrants hope to be able to reach countries like Germany.  (Photo: Reuters)


Alexander Lukashenko:

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko The 67-year-old has ruled with a heavy hand since 1994. He has received international sanctions following the bloody crackdown on demonstrations against his controversial re-election in August 2020.

Vladimir Putin:

Russian President Vladimir Putin, 69, is one of Belarus’ main financial, political and military backers. This week, both countries extended the presence of Russian military personnel for 25 years in the territory of the former Soviet republic, which shares a border with several NATO member countries.

Andrzej Duda:

Polish President Andrzej Duda, 49, accused Belarus of “attacking the Polish border, the EU border, in an unprecedented way.” His government declared a state of emergency in recent months due to the arrival of irregular migrants from Belarus.

Charles Michel:

The President of the European Council (EC), Charles Michel, 45, described the actions of Belarus as “state terrorism” and asked the legal service of the EC for its opinion on whether this “physical infrastructure” can be financed with budget funds. European, and they confirmed that current legislation allows it.


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