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Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Austria and Lithuania call on humanitarian organizations to cooperate with the Belarusian authorities and to help migrants

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The interior ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Austria and Estonia sent a letter to international and non-governmental organizations, in which they called for “cooperation” with the Belarusian authorities in order to organize assistance for people for whom the visit to the territory of the European Union was “organized by Belarusian authorities “.

“In order to avoid a tragedy and prevent a humanitarian crisis on the territory of Belarus, we call on you to cooperate with the Belarusian authorities and other interested parties to organize humanitarian and medical aid for people whose arrival in the territory of this country has been organized by the Belarusian authorities” – appeal the ministers of affairs internal offices of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Austria and Estonia.

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The letter was addressed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Committee of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. A copy of it was also received by Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner responsible for internal affairs.

The letter stressed that the crisis on the EU’s eastern borders was “artificially created by the Belarusian regime in order to put political pressure on the EU and its member states.”

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“In recent months, the Belarusian authorities have encouraged third-country nationals to come to Belarus, issued them tourist visas, brought them close to the Belarusian border with the European Union and forced them to cross the border illegally and into Latvia, Lithuania and Poland,” recall the European ministers .

Appeal on cooperation with the Belarusian authorities and assistance to migrants

It is the instrumentalization of migration and the use of people for political purposes, which we condemn, the authors of the letter point out. They also point out that the coming winter season and the worsening weather conditions associated with it pose “a high risk to those making these dangerous journeys”. They assure that “where possible, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland provide immediate humanitarian and medical aid on their territories to those in need”.

“It is imperative that international and non-governmental organizations help migrants return to their countries of origin, provide them with the necessary support and take active measures to prevent illegal migration from flowing to the EU’s eastern border,” the ministers continue writing. They call for “active participation in providing objective and truthful information both in Belarus and in the migrants’ countries of origin.”

“We must jointly help the deceived and misled people who, unfortunately, are used as weapons in hybrid war, without even knowing that they have become part of it” – conclude the authors of the letter. Apart from Mariusz Kamiński, the letter was signed by the Minister of the Interior of Lithuania Agne Bilotaite and Latvia – Mariusz Golubeva and the heads of the Interior Ministry of Estonia – Kristian Jaani and Austria – Karl Nehammer.

The state of emergency at the border with Belarus

On Monday morning, November 8, the media published information about a large group of migrants walking on the Belarusian side towards the border with Poland. Migrants gathered in the vicinity of Kuźnica. The Ministry of National Defense informed in the afternoon that the services of the Ministry of Interior and Administration and soldiers had managed to stop the first mass attempt to cross the border. The migrants have set up a camp in the Kuźnica region, they are guarded by the Belarusian services. In total, several thousand people, mainly from the Middle East, live along the border with Poland on the Belarusian side.

Report: The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border

Since September 2, due to the migratory pressure, a state of emergency has been in force in 183 towns in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces adjacent to the border with Belarus. A dam is to be built on the border with Belarus in the first half of 2022.

When reporting on the events at the border, the media can use almost exclusively official government recordings and information. Journalists have no access to the area covered by the state of emergency.

State of emergency on the eastern borderPAP

Main photo source: PAP / Irek Dorożański / DWOT



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