EU says Belarus Poland border situation is ‘unacceptable’

Brussels, Nov 9 (EFE).- The situation at the border between Belarus and Poland is “unacceptable”, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said on Tuesday.

“This is totally unacceptable and I must say this is not primarily a migration crisis but this is an aggression of a desperate, illegitimate regime that we know are capable of terrible things and do not care about people’s lives,” Johansson told a committee on EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling.

More than 2,000 refugees, including many from the Middle East and with small children in the mix, are at the Belarus border with Poland.

The migrants were escorted by Belarusian authorities on Monday but were blocked from entering Poland after which they set up tents on the edge of the forest in front of the barbed-wire border.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, Polish police wrote that the night had passed “relatively calmly” and published footage of tents with campfires still burning as officers in helmets and riot equipment faced the border fence.

“Belarus must stop putting people’s lives at risk,” president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.

“The instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable,” she added.

NATO, EU and the United States all accuse Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the problem.

“This is state sponsored smuggling,” Johansson denounced.

“What we see now is a desperate, illegitimate regime that is actually inviting people to come and luring them into saying that this is a safe and easy way to get to the European Union (…) they are putting human beings in a potentially extremely dangerous position,” she added.

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