Polish guards fire tear gas at migrants as violence erupts at Belarus border
Moscow, Nov 16 (EFE).- Polish guards on Tuesday fired tear gas at migrants trying to cross the Belarus-Poland border to enter into the European Union as violence erupted at the Bruzgui-Kuznica crossing.
The migrants threw stones at the Polish guards who repelled them with tear gas and water cannons, according to Belarusian television.
Over 2,000 migrants have been trapped on the Belarusian side of the border for a week, enduring freezing weather conditions in hopes of crossing into the bloc.
The EU, NATO and Western allies have blamed Belarus authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the migration crisis to destabilize EU borders.
Lukashenko denies being behind the crisis and says the situation is worsening because the EU is not allowing the migrants in.
In a telephone conversation with acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the leaders discussed settling the matter, according to Lukashenko.
“We agreed with Merkel that for the time being, we are not going to talk concretely about it. She asked for time, a pause, to discuss this proposal with the EU members,” he said.
The EU on Monday agreed on further sanctions against Belarus to target individuals and entities accused of aiding illegal border crossings into European territory.
This ramping up of sanctions was built on existing measures the EU drew up last year in the wake of controversial presidential elections, which Brussels dismissed as fraudulent, and the subsequent crackdown on pro-democracy protests last year. EFE