BRUSSEY/WARSAW (DPA) – The Belarusian border guard has, to the best of its knowledge, evacuated a temporary migrant camp on the EU’s external border with Poland.
A spokesman for the German Press Agency for Rights said on Friday that no more migrants would be admitted to the Green Verge. Thousands stayed for days on their way to the European Union despite freezing temperatures. Chancellor Angela Merkel assured the UN refugee agency that Germany would support the stranded.
The Acting Chancellor spoke by video with Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner for Refugees and Antonio Vittorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). According to government spokesman Stephen Seibert, Merkel underscored the important role of both organizations in providing humanitarian care, security and safe return of migrants.
People complain of hunger and lack of sanitation
Those who had previously camped on the border with Poland are now being held at a logistics center nearby. They complain of hunger and poor hygiene. They say there is not enough to eat and there is hardly any room to wash. A reporter for a German press agency reported on the site that some speak openly about their fear of being deported. He hopes the EU – and Germany in particular – will finally open its borders.
Thousands of migrants are stranded at the Belarusian-Polish border and hope to continue their journey to the European Union. Many of these people, who mainly want to move to Germany, come from Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan. Europe accused Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of systematically pushing people out of troubled regions to avenge and press for EU sanctions.
Time and again, migrants have tried to cross the border, which is strongly guarded by Polish security forces – and in some cases they have succeeded. According to Poland’s border guards, Belarusian trucks brought migrants to the border near Dubicez Cerkiwne on Thursday evening. About 500 men threw stones and branches, and Belarusian men in uniform blinded the Poles with laser beams.
more soldiers than great britain
The British government wants to send more troops to support Poland, as does the Baltic state of Estonia, which wants to send 100 troops, as announced by both countries.
Polish security forces’ actions against migrants drew criticism from Lukashenko and Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin during a phone call, as announced by the Kremlin. At the same time, Moscow appealed to the European Union to talk to the Belarusian rulers to resolve the crisis. The European Union no longer recognizes Lukashenko as president due to security forces crackdown on peaceful protesters following the presidential election in the former Soviet republic in August 2020.
Merkel spoke to Lukashenko twice this week – with the governments of Poland and Lithuania also criticized by the Greens. Government spokesman Seibert said: “Given the dire situation of migrants, it makes sense to “talk to those who have the opportunity to change something in Minsk”. He stressed that this is in no way an “act of legitimacy when these talks have taken place”, but rather an attempt to rectify a difficult humanitarian situation.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, who is currently the President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said during a visit to Moscow: “We can see that in the last 24 hours after the expatriates from Minsk were taken to the hangar Changes have come from – like a building.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211119-99-56586/7
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