The crisis at the border between Belarus and Poland has escalated in recent days after multiple nights of intense showdowns, with Polish authorities using water cannons and tear gas to push back migrants who they said were trying to get past the border.
As CBS News reported, “There were chaotic scenes as a group of migrants charged the fence. One of the migrants told CBS News that Polish police responded with a volley of tear gas and rubber bullets, as well as the water cannon. Migrants were seen hurling rocks and stones at the barbed wire fence.”
As reported by The New York Times:
The Polish authorities, in a series of Twitter messages, said that border guards at the border crossing between Bruzgi and Kuznica in Poland had been assaulted by people throwing “stones, bottles and logs” and firing “stun grenades.”
“The entire aggressive behavior is coordinated by Belarusian services and monitored by drones,” the Polish authorities said, posting videos of the confrontations. “As a result of an attack by people inspired by the Belarusian side, one of the policemen was seriously injured.”
At least 11 people have reportedly died in the past few weeks at the border.
The situation has worsened as migrants convened on the border of Belarus and Poland, in an act that leaders in the European Union have blamed on Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, known as “Europe’s last dictator.”
The European Union has blamed Lukashenko for orchestrating the new crisis in order to create an issue at the Polish border in retribution for the European Union’s sanctions on Belarus earlier this year.
As reported by The New York Times on Monday, “European Union foreign ministers adopted new sanctions on the government of Aleksandr G. Lukashenko.”
The recent sanctions would aim at “individuals and entities organizing or contributing to activities by the Lukashenko regime that facilitate illegal crossing of the E.U.’s external borders,” according to the European Commission, per The Times.
Russia has stood by its ally of Belarus during the process, and Lukashenko warned Tuesday he could involve Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I will talk with the President of Russia and ask him to get involved and, if necessary, provide appropriate assistance, without drawing them [Russia] into this refugee crisis,” Lukashenko reportedly said ahead of a phone conversation with Putin.
Last week, Lukashenko threatened Europe with eliminating gas resources.
He reportedly told Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko that if Europe creates new sanctions, “you must not forgive them anything.”
“We are warning Europe, and yet they threaten to close the border,” Lukashenko said, per the Belarusian state news source, as reported by The New York Times. “What if we close off the natural gas headed there? I would recommend the leadership of Poland, the Lithuanians and other brainless people to think before they speak.”
As The Daily Wire reported last week, “On Tuesday, Lithuania declared a state of emergency on its border with Belarus, while Poland also reacted to the thousands of migrants who have flocked to the border between Belarus and Poland.”
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, said at the time: “The Belarusian regime is attacking the Polish border, the EU, in an unparalleled manner. We currently have a camp of migrants who are blocked from the Belarusian side. These are aggressive actions that we must repel, fulfilling our obligations as a member of the European Union.”
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