EU examines data on possible involvement of Russia in the crisis with migrants

Illegal migrants' camp on the Belarusian-Polish border - 1920, 11/09/2021

BRUSSELS, 9 Nov – The European Commission is studying the information it has about the possible involvement of Russia and a number of other countries in the situation with potential migrants for the EU in Belarus, said the spokesman for the European Commission’s press service Peter Stano at a briefing.
Earlier, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, commenting on the statement of the Polish Foreign Ministry regarding the alleged “exploitation” of the crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border by Russia, said that this is a lie and manipulation of facts, “which leads to increased tension in Europe.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the European Union should be held accountable for its actions in the situation with the migration crisis, and Brussels could help Minsk in the same way as it once helped Turkey to cope with refugee flows.
“We are carefully studying the situation in Russia, as well as in a number of other countries. We assess the data we have on flights from Russia, on the possible involvement of Russia in this situation,” Stano said.
The EU authorities believe that the Belarusian authorities are using migrants from other states to destabilize the situation in the EU. Against this background, the European Union is trying to work with third countries, from where migrants go to Belarus and then move to the EU borders in order to restrain the flow of people.
The Belarusian authorities deny accusations of creating a migration crisis.
On Monday, the State Border Committee of Belarus reported that a large group of refugees from the countries of the East and Africa went to the border of Belarus with Poland. In the evening, the department said that the situation with refugees on the border of the republic with Poland remains extremely tense: more than 2 thousand refugees, including a significant number of women and children, have stopped in front of the Polish barriers on the border line. The Polish security forces do not let them through, the migrants made attempts to overcome the obstacles. Refugees set up camp at the border line overnight.
The day before, the European Commission announced that it has data on a group of several hundred people in Belarus near the border with Poland. The EC considered that this situation is a continuation of the attempts of the Belarusian authorities to use migrants to destabilize the European Union.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, urged the EU countries to agree on the expansion of the sanctions regime against the Belarusian authorities against the background of the situation on the border with Poland and said that the possibility of introducing sanctions against airlines of third countries that transport migrants to Belarus would be considered in this regard.
President of the country Alexander Lukashenko noted that Minsk will no longer restrain the flow of illegal migrants to the EU countries: because of the West’s sanctions, there is “neither money nor energy for this.” The border guards of Belarus have repeatedly stated about the forcible expulsion of migrants by Lithuania, Poland and Latvia to the Belarusian territory.
As, in turn, the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, the Kremlin hopes that the situation on the border of Belarus and Poland will not lead to threats to the security of Russia. The situation on the border between Poland and Belarus is undoubtedly tense, but the most important thing is the life and health of people, he noted. Minsk and Moscow are in constant contact, including through the special services, added Peskov.

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