Two weeks after the beginning of the aggravation on the Polish-Belarusian border, most of the refugees left the spontaneous forest camp “Bruzgi”. The Belarusians placed them in a logistics center nearby – now they are waiting for a pass to Germany there. Berlin will not give them such documents: recently the FRG leadership rejected Minsk’s public proposal to create a humanitarian corridor through which 2 thousand refugees could get to Europe. At the same time, the leaders of Belarus and Germany agreed that they would solve this crisis together. However, neither side has yet reported on concrete steps in this direction.
Field exchanger and food court
By the morning of Friday, November 19, the forest camp on the border of Belarus and Poland was empty: most of the refugees moved to the logistics center 15 minutes from the Bruzgi border checkpoint, and the Belarusian State Border Committee decided to shut down the media work at the checkpoint – due to the fact that all refugees are accommodated in a new location.
They now live in a large hangar designed to store goods. The smell is quite heavy here – 1,500 people live in a covered room with one exit and practically no windows, who have not washed for two weeks. They lie on the mattresses given to them and in sleeping bags, covered with fluffy blankets – and the whiteness of these blankets in the logistics center looks absurd.
But on other humanitarian fronts, the problems are now much less. The refugees have tea and biscuits for breakfast, barley porridge for lunch. In the updated camp, they even installed a trailer where they sell shawarma and cigarettes, exchange currencies and even vaccinate against COVID. The Belarusian Red Cross says that there is another 15 tons of humanitarian aid in reserve – cereals, canned food, sweets and fruits are brought to the border from all over the country.
Camp life takes on a new status quo. Migrants are still waiting to be allowed into Europe. Occasionally, joyful exclamations and applause are heard – somewhere there is a rumor that Germany will still accept them. This rumor is not supported by anything. But the other day, in response to a public offer from Minsk to open a humanitarian corridor to allow 2,000 refugees to enter the FRG, Berlin refused.
– On Monday, European foreign ministers met, and we were unanimous in the opinion that people should be returned to the countries from which they came. Anything else would mean that [президент Белоруссии Александр] Lukashenko won, – said the head of the German Foreign Ministry Heiko Maas on November 19, stressing that his country has already received 10 thousand migrants who arrived in the European Union through Belarus.
Among the refugees there are those who, apparently, realized that “standing” on the border has no prospects. There are about 400 such people, according to the Iraqi Foreign Ministry. A special export flight was organized for them, which on November 18 followed the route “Minsk – Baghdad”. A similar flight could take place the next day, but it was removed from the schedule.
Meanwhile, migrants can still be seen in Minsk. Izvestia, in particular, spotted one small group near the railway station. They were young guys in bright Nike sneakers with big bags and sleeping bags. They did not react to our attempt to talk. The refugees waited for the car – a small car – got into it and drove away. Apparently, towards the border.
Is Poland to blame?
Minsk, meanwhile, is actively investigating the actions of the Polish security forces. Last week, when migrants tried to massively break through the barbed wire, the Poles used tear gas and stun grenades against them. The Investigative Committee of Belarus arrived at the border immediately after the clash and by the end of the week identified 109 victims, including 10 young children. Polish border guards, in turn, say that four soldiers were injured on their side.
“Can this be called a humane attitude towards those whom the EU has invited to visit? Why is the world silent? Where is the principled position of the UN? ”, Belarusian mass media ask questions on the front pages.
– Do you know that you can’t even turn your weapon in the direction of the adjacent territory? Why did you pour water from water cannons 100 meters with pesticides into our territory ?! This is a violation of the state border. You have violated the state border, at least. You threw stun grenades at our territory, – said Alexander Lukashenko on November 19 in an interview with the BBC correspondent, an excerpt from which is quoted by the state agency BelTA…
The head of the republic rejected all accusations that Minsk “organized” this crisis, but admitted that Belarusians are helping migrants to move to Europe.
“Listen, it’s quite possible. So I fully admit it. Perhaps someone helped, and I won’t even figure it out, ”he said in the same interview. BBC… – I said, I will not detain them at the border, keep them at the border. I repeat: I will not keep them at the border in the future if they go through Belarus. Because they are not coming to me, but to you. You stopped making contact and stopped working. If you don’t want it, don’t. We will solve this problem without you. The way it goes. But I didn’t invite them here. And, to be honest, I don’t want them to travel through Belarus.
The press secretary of the Belarusian president Natalya Eismont believes that Warsaw is “playing for aggravation” with Minsk.
– As they did not succeed with migrants, they will not succeed in other areas either. No one will give them a chance or a reason to unleash a third world war here, ” she said on November 20 on the YouTube channel. “Main. Tour”…
Despite the fact that the spontaneous camp on the border no longer exists, attempts to break through to Europe, according to the Polish side, continue. As reported on November 20 on the air of the radio RMF Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak, at night “smaller groups [беженцев] trying to cross the border in many different places. “
“We must prepare for the fact that this problem will continue for months,” the minister noted and stressed: the security forces are ready to repel these raids.
The crisis can be resolved by Belarus and the European Union, both directly and jointly. This, in particular, after another conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“Of course, communication between Lukashenka and Putin is not enough to find solutions to this crisis, it is very important to continue direct contacts between Lukashenka and EU representatives,” he said on November 19.
But so far the pinnacle of European-Belarusian contacts has become two telephone conversations between the President of the Republic of Belarus and acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Their main result is a common decision to bring the discussion to the level of Belarus and the EU. Whether it was possible to agree on something at this level is not yet known.
But there were some gaps in the situation, albeit small, but gaps. Thus, the Belarusian border guards announced the start of a dialogue with their Polish colleagues. The Polish side, as the representative of the State Border Committee of the Republic of Bashkortostan Anton Bychkovsky said on November 21, “comes out with an initiative to search for adequate solutions, including taking into account the interests of refugees in a critical situation.” Such contacts, according to him, already exist both at the level of border commissioners and through the operational-duty services.
#simple #refugee #camp #border #Poland #Belarus #changed