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2020 - LE.MO.N.

What’s happening in the border between Poland and Belarus?

Migrants at the Polish border, near Kuznica (Poland). Photo released by the Polish Defense Ministry, November 2021. Source: Aljazeera

At the moment, between 3000 and 4000 refugees are trapped in the border between Poland and Belarus. Deaths, cold weather risking the lives of people sleeping in tents in the middle of nowhere…how did the EU get to this situation?

It all started early this year when the President of Belarus, Alexandre Loukachenko, diverted a Ryanair flight where a member of the opposition was in. This was criticized by the EU and several sanctions where put in place towards certain individuals, as well as the President of Belarus.

In order to seek revenge to these sanctions, for two months now, Loukachenko has taken advantage of the weak European migration policy by sending migrants to the border with the EU in Poland. What Belarus is giving out a high number of VISAs in order to allow access to the people fleeing their country to arrive to Minsk. They are then driven to Poland, where the Polish police do not let them come through.

Pol is a 26-year-old Spaniard doing a voluntary service in Serbia. According to him, this is not a migration crisis, but a political crisis which is dividing opinions in the EU. In his view, there is a higher number of migrants who are  arriving to other countries, such as Croatia, Hungary and Greece and less people arriving to Poland and Lithuania, sent by Belarus. Pol believes this is a very complicated situation, because if the EU assumes the reception of all the migrants sent by Belarus, Loukachenko will send more people.

But, does the EU want to fall into the traps of this game and play with the lives of thousands of people dreaming of Europe?

New European sanctions have been sent to Belarus, but migrants keep arriving to the Polish border. As the cold weather approaches, what will happen to the migrants trapped between these two countries?

Photo from the BBC