EU: Belarus using 'gangster' tactics as migrants gather on border with Poland

EU: Belarus using 'gangster' tactics as migrants gather on border with Poland
© AP/ Czarek Sokolowski

The European Union is accusing Belarus of using “gangster-style” tactics as migrants gather on the country's border with Poland. 

A spokesperson for the union's executive branch said that Belarus is telling migrants to come to the border with promises that they can easily enter the EU there, Reuters reported. The EU is promising to levy further sanctions against Belarus in response.

"The Belarusian regime is attacking the Polish border, the EU, in an unparalleled manner," Polish President Andrzej Duda said at a press conference.  

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"We currently have a camp of migrants who are blocked from the Belarusian side. There are about 1,000 people there, mostly young men. These are aggressive actions that we must repel, fulfilling our obligations as a member of the European Union,” Duda added.

 

Belarusian security is giving migrants tolls to destroy Poland’s border fencing while security personnel themselves are "firing empty shots into the air, simulating dangerous events" at the border, said Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesperson for Poland’s special services, according to Reuters.

The EU previously said Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was causing the border crisis in response to sanctions imposed by Western countries. 

Belarus says the crisis at the border is the EU’s fault and the migrants “are not a security threat” and “are not behaving aggressively.”