EU Official Demands More Sanctions Against Belarus as Some Warn of Escalation

A picture taken on November 8, 2021 shows migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region. - Poland on November 8 said hundreds of migrants in Belarus were descending on its border aiming to force their way into the EU member in what NATO slammed as a deliberate tactic …
LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images

European Commissioner Ylva Johansson has called for more sanctions to be imposed on Belarus after a large group of violent migrants attempted to storm the Polish border.

Commissioner Johansson stated this week that the Belarusian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko was directly responsible for the violence at the Polish border and said that he was deceiving migrants by claiming they would be allowed safe passage to the European Union.

“This is incredibly serious and something completely new that we see. We see a desperate dictator who uses living people in a way to destabilise Europe. He’s fooling people,” Johansson said, according to Aftonbladet, claiming migrants were directly paying Belarusian authorities to be escorted to the border.

“This is a game played by Lukashenko because he wants to influence the EU’s sanctions policy. We are not going to negotiate. I want to see tougher sanctions,” she said and claimed that Belarusian border guards were preventing migrants from returning to the country at the border.

The European Union has already enacted sanctions against Belarus following the Lukashenko regime’s interception of a RyanAir flight earlier this year in which the government had the plane land in Minsk and arrested an opposition critic Raman Pratasevich.

The incident had been described as a hijacking and led to Belarusian airlines being banned from European Union airspace, among other sanctions and measures directed at the regime.

Finland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto has also spoken out about the order crisis, warning that the crisis faced a risk of escalating into conflict.

“Belarus is ruthlessly exploiting the situation and, according to the information we have, about 50 flights a week from Arab countries and Turkey have arrived in their capital Minsk,” Haavisto said.

Mr Haavisto added: “People have come legally, but they are being pushed towards the Polish, Latvian, and Lithuanian borders and this is a completely unscrupulous activity.”

The Finnish minister also noted that there were children, elderly, and sick people at the border area, something the Polish government has claimed the Lukashenko government is using as propaganda in order to boost public support for migrants crossing into Poland illegally.

People traffickers in the Mediterranean Sea have been accused of using similar tactics by allowing pregnant women onboard ships in order to provoke public sympathy and encourage the expansion of rescue operations of migrants.

Piotr Müller, the spokesman for the Polish government, has also warned of escalating conflict with Belarus over the border crisis, saying: “We fear that these kinds of events could escalate at Poland’s border in the near future, and then of an armed nature.”

Violent clashes were seen earlier this week along the Polish-Belarusian border as a group of migrants estimated to be in the thousands gathered in the border area, with some armed with wire cutters, axes, and shovels who attempted to dismantle and destroy Polish border defences.

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta told Breitbart London he estimated the group to be at least 3,000-strong and said: “It is an action organised directly by the Belarusian regime of Lukashenko. These people want to go to Germany, but they are trying to do it illegally.”

Poland has also presented evidence claiming that Belarusian border guards have also been chipping away at the county’s border defences, publishing a photograph that appeared to show a Belarusian solder cutting a wire fence last week.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com

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