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Sunday October 24, 2021

Poland says Belarus and Russia behind migrant wave

AFP
September 21, 2021

WARSAW: Poland on Monday accused Russia and Belarus of orchestrating a wave of illegal immigration at its land border, a day after four migrants were found dead at its Belarusian frontier.

Thousands have been trying to cross from Belarus into EU members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in recent weeks. The EU suspects the influx of people mostly from the Middle East is being orchestrated by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in retaliation for sanctions on his regime.

"We’re dealing with a mass organised, well-directed action from Minsk and Moscow," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters in Warsaw, adding that up to 7,000 migrants had been spotted on the border since early August.

He said nobody believed Lukashenko was acting alone, adding that the Belarusian leader and his Russian allies were working with "great determination" to transport "tens of thousands" from the Middle East and Africa. Those migrants are being used to apply the "pressure of illegal immigration to the EU’s external border", he added.