Russia responded to Polish accusations against Belarus over the influx of large numbers of migrants, including Iraqis, to the border between the two countries, and demanded Poland to receive them, while Poland condemned Tuesday the influx of a wave of migrants from Belarus as a "hybrid attack" on the entire European Union.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in statements published by the Russian press: "It is better for Polish politicians who are attacking Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and accusing Minsk of causing the Iraqi migrant crisis, to remember that Warsaw played a prominent role in the destruction of Iraq."
She added that more than two thousand Polish soldiers entered Iraq as part of the forces of countries allied with the United States to "establish democracy" in its regions.
Zakharova wondered whether Poland is ready today to receive "at least two thousand Iraqi refugees".
Zakharova blamed Poland for the migrant crisis due to its participation in the Iraq war (Reuters)
The Kremlin announced Tuesday that Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, his main ally, spoke by phone and discussed tension on the Belarus-Poland border, and said in a statement that the two presidents "exchanged views on the refugee situation," while hundreds of migrants crowded at the border amid the frost, in a situation that accused Warsaw. Minsk managed.
Lukashenko stressed Tuesday that his country "will not kneel" in its crisis with the European Union over the thousands of migrants gathered at the Polish border.
For its part, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry warned Poland against carrying out "provocations" on the common border to justify new illegal hostilities against migrants, which it described as "vulnerable, unarmed people, including many women and children."
The Belarusian Defense Minister rejected the accusations of masterminding the migration wave, saying that "there is no basis or justification."
Belarusian Interior Minister Ivan Kobrakov confirmed Tuesday that the migrants are on the territory of Belarus "legally" and have not committed "any violation of the law."
Belarus accuses Poland of deploying about 10,000 soldiers on the common border without notifying it, which in its opinion constitutes "intense military activity" and "a violation of bilateral agreements."
Morawiecki: Closing the Polish border is in our national interest (Reuters)
And Polish President Andrzej Duda called for an urgent European meeting to discuss the situation on his country's borders with Belarus.
"We will not succumb to intimidation and will defend peace in Europe with our partners from NATO and the European Union," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted on Tuesday.
He warned that "closing the Polish borders is in our national interest, but the stability and security of the entire European Union is today at stake," stressing that "this hybrid attack by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko targets us all."
On Tuesday, the Polish Ministry of Defense published a video clip, which it said showed a "large group" of Belarusian soldiers approaching migrant camps near the Polish border village of Kosnica.
Local police posted on Twitter pictures of migrants sitting around tents and setting fires to keep warm on the Belarusian side of the fence.
Before that, the Polish Interior Ministry announced that the national security forces had prevented an attempt to storm the border with Belarus by migrants in one of the border sections between the two countries, adding that "the situation is under control."
On Monday, Warsaw announced the arrival of 3 to 4 thousand migrants to its border with Belarus, which has been experiencing a migrant crisis since the summer, and it repelled a collective attempt to cross into its territory.
In response to the influx of migrants, Poland massed thousands of soldiers at the border, erected a fence, declared a state of emergency and banned journalists from working in the area.
The European Union accuses Lukashenko of orchestrating a wave of migrants and refugees, mostly from the Middle East, to try to enter the European Union, in response to sanctions imposed by Brussels on his country following what he described as a brutal crackdown on dissent.
Washington and Brussels condemned, on Monday, Belarus' "manipulation" of migrants for political purposes, while NATO condemned what it described as Belarus' hybrid tactic, and Germany asked the European Union to form a "united front" in the face of the migration crisis, and called on European Commission President Ursula von der der Line to impose new European sanctions on Belarus.
On Tuesday, France accused the Belarusian president of seeking to "destabilize" the European Union by organizing "smuggling of migrants" at its borders.
For his part, Horst Seehofer, Minister of the Interior in the caretaker government in Germany, called on the European Union to provide support to Poland, given the tense situation on its borders with Belarus, which represent the external borders of
the European Union.
Seehofer believed that Germany and Poland could not overcome this situation alone.
Germany is a major destination for migrants, with 8,833 people entering the country illegally this year through Belarus, German police said.Keywords: