Merkel denounces Belarus-Poland border crisis, hundreds try to cross fence

Berlin/Moscow, Nov 10 (EFE).- Germany’s acting chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday warned Russia’s president Vladimir Putin against the “instrumentalization” of hundreds of migrants trying to cross the border between Belarus and Poland.

Merkel told Putin in a phone call that the Belarusian regime’s attitude toward the migrants trying to cross the borders into Poland, a European Union member state, was “inhumane” and “unacceptable.”

More than 2,000 migrants, including many children, are currently camped out at the border in what the EU has described as an orchestrated “hybrid” attack by the Belarus regime.

Groups of migrants were escorted by Belarusian authorities to the border on Monday.

Many set up tents in the forest near the barbed-wire border fence after Polish security forces blocked people from crossing.

Belarus’ neighbors Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, along with the EU, accuse Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko of provoking the current migration crisis in revenge for those countries’ support for the Belarusian opposition in exile, which he denied.

Merkel called on Putin to exert his influence on Lukashenko’s regime to quell the situation, according to the read-out of the call issued by the German Chancellor’s office.

The phone call came after “hundreds” of migrants tried to illegally cross the border into Poland overnight, the Polish defense minister Mariusz Blaszczak said Wednesday.

“All who made it through were arrested,” Blaszczak added, while the public PolSat TV channel said that 20 out of 60 people who managed to cross the border were detained.

The Polish government has increased its already large military presence on the border, with Blaszczak confirming on Wednesday that there are already 15,000 troops deployed to the zone.

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