‘The Mastermind Is President Putin’: Lithuania, Poland Protect Borders From Thousands Of Migrants

Lithuania declares emergency; Poland sends 11,000 soldiers, says of migrants: "These are aggressive actions that we must repel"
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

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: “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.”

The Guardian, which noted, “Poland has sent about 11,000 soldiers to the border area, created a militarized zone two miles deep, built a razor-wire fence and approved the construction of a border wall,”  quoted a spokesperson for the European Commission saying, “This is part of the inhuman and really gangster-style approach of the Lukashenko regime that he is lying to people, he is misusing people, misleading them, and bringing them to Belarus under the false promise of having easy entry into the EU.”

Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, echoed to the German newspaper Bild, “The Poles have reacted correctly so far. … We cannot criticise them for securing the EU’s external border with admissible means. The Poles are fulfilling a very important service for the whole of Europe.”

“Poland has accused Lukashenko of attempting to orchestrate a crisis on the European Union’s eastern frontier by funneling migrants to the border in retaliation for sweeping sanctions imposed on Minsk by the bloc and other Western powers in June,” CNN reported. “Lukashenko’s government has repeatedly denied the claims, blaming the West for dangerous, sometimes fatal, border crossings and poor treatment of migrants. … Many of the migrants at the border are hoping to travel onwards from Poland deeper into western Europe.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Tuesday, “Sealing the Polish border is our national interest. But today the stability and security of the entire EU is at stake. … This hybrid attack of Lukashenko’s regime is aimed at all of us. We will not be intimidated and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and EU.”

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, “The coerced landing of a Ryanair jet and an Olympic athlete seeking sanctuary in Poland focused attention on Belarus in 2021, as has the European Union’s accusation that the country is weaponizing refugees from the Middle East by helping them cross its border illegally into Lithuania and Poland. Meanwhile, Russia views Belarus as perhaps its closest ally, a buffer against encroachment by NATO and the EU.”

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused Putin of orchestrating the flow of migrants trying to illegally enter Poland from Belarus, saying to an emergency session of the Polish parliament, “This attack which [Belarus President Alexander] Lukashenko is conducting has its mastermind in Moscow, the mastermind is President Putin,” The Times of Israel noted.

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