G7 Nations Issue Scathing Condemnation Of Belarus Using “Irregular Migration” As A “Hybrid Tactic”
At least 1,000 desperate migrants are still at the Bruzgi-Kuźnica border crossing after days of fierce clashes with Polish border police amid frigid temperatures. The government of Iraq has now gotten involved.
“The Iraqi government on Thursday will begin to repatriate citizens who requested to leave after a monthslong standoff on the Belarus-Poland border left them defeated, their dreams of a new life dashed,” CNN reports.
“About 430 Iraqi citizens who were transferred from the border to Belarus’ capital Minsk were set to be evacuated on an Iraqi Airways plane on Thursday, the Iraqi Transportation Ministry said in a statement,” the report continues. Also on Thursday the G-7 foreign ministers Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US moved to “condemn the Belarus regime’s orchestration of irregular migration across its borders” in a written statement.
The joint statement echoes the language of EU leaders who have lately charged the Alexander Lukashenko government with mounting a “hybrid attack” on EU-member Poland by weaponizing migrants at the border.
“These callous acts are putting peoples’ lives at risk. We are united in our solidarity with Poland, as well as Lithuania and Latvia, who have been targeted by this provocative use of irregular migration as a hybrid tactic,” the G7 letter says.
“We call on the regime to cease immediately its aggressive and exploitative campaign in order to prevent further deaths and suffering,” the group of Western nations added.
Already the EU has readied new sanctions on Minsk, and in particular targeting national airlines which stand accused of intentionally facilitating the movement of migrants from the Middle East on orders from the Lukashenko government.
To protect Polish borders, Polish border forces have begun to use water cannons, tear gas, & stun grenades against the illegal migrants at the Poland-Belarus border. Take a look.pic.twitter.com/KM1aySKVSn
— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) November 18, 2021
Meanwhile, despite the Iraqi government now vowing to repatriate its citizens flying out of Minsk, the crisis on the ground looks to continue, as CNN describes of the scene at one key border crossing Thursday near northeast Poland:
Polish authorities on Thursday said that migrants were still trying to force their way across the border near Bruzgi, with 500 attempts to breach the barbed wire fence over 24 hours, sometimes in groups of as many as 500. Poland’s defense ministry reported that about 100 migrants were detained after attempting to cross together further south, in Dubicze Cerkiewne.
Polish officials have increasingly feared a potential escalation leading to armed confrontation with Belarusian security agents – given they stand accused to pushing migrants across toward the Polish border guards.
Some migrants are leaving Belarus with the evacuation flight, some are leaving the border for the logistics center. The regime had set up the overnight stay here. Lukashenka feels like his blackmail worked – he received calls from the 🇪🇺, he thinks he is recognized again. pic.twitter.com/SgtQMWj1Vd
— Franak Viačorka (@franakviacorka) November 18, 2021
In other instances have been observed withdrawing from their side of the border to allow mayhem to ensue, including migrants hurling rocks and other projectiles at Polish police lines. In response, the Polish side has been witnessed over past days unleashing powerful water cannons and tear gas on the throngs across the border fence.
Thu, 11/18/2021 – 12:30