Monday, 29 November, 2021

Poland accuses Belarus of ‘state terrorism’ over migrant crisis

WARSAW: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday accused Belarus of "state terrorism" over an unprecedented migrant crisis on the border of EU member Poland, reports AFP.

"What we are facing here, we must be clear, is a manifestation of state terrorism," Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw at a joint press conference with visiting EU chief Charles Michel.

He added he believed it was also Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko's "quiet revenge" for Poland's support of the opposition. Western governments have accused Lukashenko of luring migrants, mainly from the Middle East, to his country and sending them to cross over into EU member Poland.

They say the move is a form of retaliation against EU sanctions levelled against Minsk for its brutal crackdown on the opposition following a disputed August 2020 presidential election.

Belarus denies the claims that it is behind the migrant crisis and accuses Poland of violating human rights by refusing to allow the migrants in.

For his part Michel said that more "possible sanctions (against Belarus) are on the table again," adding that EU members would hold consultations on the matter on Monday.

"We must demonstrate our strong unity in order to have an influence and to stop what's happening because it's not acceptable," Michel added.

Poland said Wednesday it had seen a surge in attempts to breach its border and had pushed back hundreds of migrants to Belarus, after it accused Minsk and Moscow of trying to orchestrate a crisis on Europe's borders.

The migrants have spent days in freezing temperatures on the border, blocked by rows of Polish border guards behind razor-wire.