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English Section

US condemns Belarus for 'orchestrating' migrant flows to Europe

09.11.2021 07:30
The United States has voiced concern over "disturbing images and reports" from the Polish-Belarusian border, and condemned Belarus for "orchestrating" migrants flows to Europe, news agencies have reported.
Image by Circ OD from Pixabay
Image by Circ OD from Pixabay Pixabay License

The US State Department on Monday called on the Belarusian authorities to immediately halt their "campaign of orchestrating and coercing irregular migration flows" across the country's borders.

"The United States strongly condemns the Lukashenka regime’s political exploitation and coercion of vulnerable people, and the regime’s callous and inhumane facilitation of irregular migration flows across its borders," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

"We call on the regime to immediately halt its campaign of orchestrating and coercing irregular migrant flows across its borders into Europe," he added.

"As long as the regime in Belarus refuses to respect its international obligations and commitments, undermines the peace and security of Europe, and continues to repress and abuse people seeking nothing more than to live in freedom, we will continue to pressure Lukashenka and will not lessen our calls for accountability," Price also said.

"The United States will continue to stand by Poland, and all of our partners in Europe, who have been threatened by Belarus’s unacceptable actions," he told reporters.

Polish border guards, police and soldiers on Monday thwarted several attempts by migrants to force their way into the country via Belarus, government officials said, as the border crisis escalated.

NATO on Monday condemned the use of migrants by Belarus "as a hybrid tactic," Poland's PAP news agency reported.

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen on Monday called for EU member states to approve new sanctions against Belarus, which she said was responsible for a "hybrid attack" on the Polish border using migrants.

The European Union has accused Belarus of encouraging thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa to cross into EU countries via Belarus, as a form of hybrid warfare in revenge for Western sanctions on Minsk over human rights abuses, the Reuters news agency reported.

Poland and the Baltic states have accused Belarus's strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko of organising a wave of illegal migrants seeking to enter the bloc as part of what officials have called a "hybrid war."

(gs)

Source: PAP, Reuters, state.gov