News ID: 317787
Published: 0313 GMT November 09, 2021

Russia calls on EU to avoid double standards over Belarusian-Polish border situation

Russia calls on EU to avoid double standards over Belarusian-Polish border situation
Migrants gather near a barbed wire fence in an attempt to cross the border with Poland in the Grodno region, Belarus, on November 8, 2021.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the European Union countries to avoid double standards in addressing the migration crisis at Belarus’ border with Poland and Lithuania.

"It is necessary to avoid double standards in this situation and use a common approach in what concerns the European Union nations’ position," he told a news conference on Tuesday, wrote.

"It is inadmissible to use different standards to Poland and Italy when Brussels considers the issue how Warsaw and Rome are behaving in relation to migrant influxes. It is also necessary to avoid double standards in relation to the countries where the refugees are coming from," the Russian minister added.

He recalled that when refugees were reaching Europe from Turkey, the EU allocated funds to keep them in Turkey.

"Why cannot they help Belarus like this? Belarus also needs money to ensure normal conditions for the refugees Lithuania and Poland are reluctant to let in. These people don’t want to stay in Belarus or Turkey, they want to go to Europe, which has been advertising its lifestyles for years. One should be accountable for one’s actions," he said.

More than 30,000 migrants have tried to cross the Polish-Belarusian border since the beginning of 2021. Warsaw has imposed a state of emergency in regions bordering Belarus. It regularly reinforces border troops, with over 10,000 positioned near the border. The Polish side has also built a barbed wire fence to be later replaced by a solid five-meter-tall wall equipped with sensors and other tools.

On Monday, several thousand migrants approached the Polish border. Some of them tried to tear down the fence and break through into Poland. So far, Polish law enforcers are managing keep them off the country’s territory.

At least 2,000 migrants are now at the Belarus border with Poland. Belarus's leader Alexander Lukashenko denies orchestrating the problem.

"This crisis stems from the policy NATO and EU countries have been pursuing in the Middle East and North Africa for years, trying to impose a better life and the Western vision of democracy on them," Lavrov said, adding that Iraq, Libya, and Syria fell victim to this policy.

"These reckless actions generated unprecedented flows of refugees. So, while making any steps, it is necessary to remember where it all originated from and who is to blame for it."

He also said that the responsibility for settling this crisis rests on those "who created conditions for this crisis to break out", insisting that the migration crisis be settled on the basis of international law.

"I think any solution to this problem must rest on full respect for the principles of international law," he said.

EU and NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have all seen a surge in the number of people trying to enter their countries illegally from Belarus in recent months. Many are young men but they include women and children, largely from the Middle East and Asia.

Poland has seen the most arrivals, especially around its major border crossing at Kuznica.

It has deployed extra troops after desperate crowds tried to cut the border fence on Monday. The border guard said more than 300 attempts had been made to cross illegally.

The government in Warsaw has warned of a possible "armed" escalation on its border with Belarus.







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