Belarusian President Tells Migrants They Have The “Right” To Enter The EU
Belarus’ strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko told migrants on the Polish border on Friday that he would not try to prevent them from entering the European Union, and urged Germany to accept them.
Lukashenko was shown in footage aired by state media visiting a center near the Polish border that was receiving hundreds of migrants, mostly Kurds from Iraq, who had traveled to Belarus in the hopes of reaching Europe.
Lukashenko is accused by Western governments of recruiting migrants to his nation in order to cause a border crisis with the EU in retaliation for sanctions, which he denies.
Lukashenko was shown mingling among the migrants in the center and conversing with them, before addressing them from a podium outside in a campaign-style speech.
The refugees, dressed in winter coats and standing in the cold, appeared befuddled, despite scattered clapping.
Lukashenko, who has accused the EU of failing to satisfy humanitarian standards by refusing to admit the migrants, has assured them that his administration will do all possible to prevent them from reaching Europe.
“Anyone who wishes to travel west has the freedom to do so. We will not attempt to apprehend you, defeat you, or imprison you behind barbed wire “Lukashenko stated this.
“We’ll work with you to make your idea a reality.”
Lukashenko claimed he was asking Germans to accept the refugees, as many of them were seeking to reach Germany.
“Please accept these individuals. This is not a large number. They want to live in Germany, and 2,000 people isn’t a big deal for the country “he stated
Thousands of migrants from the Middle East have been flocking to Belarus in recent months in the hopes of crossing the border into EU member Poland.
Earlier this month, the situation erupted when several hundred people attempted to cross the border but were repelled by Polish security personnel.
In the frigid circumstances, 2,000 people, including many women and children, set up a makeshift camp on the border.
Border authorities removed the camp last week, and the migrants were relocated to a neighboring logistics center.
Around 150 people were still “wandering” around the border, according to Lukashenko, and there could be another 3,000 migrants in the country beyond the logistics center.
“The immigration situation will get a lot worse if we don’t tackle it now,” he added.
Poland announced on Wednesday that more than 200 migrants had forced their way across the border with the help of Belarusian border guards, but that they had been deported immediately.
At least 11 migrants, according to aid organizations. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.