Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Western countries are using the refugee crisis to foment unrest near Russia’s borders, while ignoring their responsibilities for creating the crisis in the first place.
According to a report published by Newsweek (News WeekThe American, that Russian officials blame Western countries, which they see as paving the way for the crisis of refugees stranded on the Belarusian-Polish border for weeks, through the wars launched in the Middle East and neighboring countries over the past two decades.
The magazine said that the Russian Foreign Ministry referred it to previous statements by President Putin, when asked about Moscow’s position on the crisis of thousands of refugees trying to enter the European Union through Poland’s borders with Moscow’s ally Belarus.
In statements to this effect he made last Thursday, Putin criticized the behavior of the Polish border guards with refugees trying to enter Poland, most of whom came from war-torn countries, including: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen.
“It cannot be ignored that Western countries are using the refugee crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border as a new way to create tension in a region close to us and to put pressure on Minsk, while at the same time forgetting their humanitarian responsibility,” Putin said.
The West pushed them to seek refuge
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during a press conference on Wednesday that Western countries do not feel responsible for the lives of the refugees and what happened to the areas from which they came due to the mistakes and crimes committed by the West.
She pointed out that the West ignores the scourge of its war in Iraq at the beginning of this century, which lasted for many years, as well as what is happening in Libya, Syria and Afghanistan, and what the entire region went through during the Arab Spring revolutions, which was supported by the West, she said.
In response to statements by British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss, during which she held Minsk responsible for the refugee crisis, Zakharova said that the British minister did not address the direct relationship between the refugee crisis and Britain’s great involvement in the armed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the events in Syria.
She said that these military interventions “not only killed people and destroyed the structure of those countries, but also destroyed their economies, and forced a large part of their population to leave for other regions of the world to survive and search for a better life.”
The Minister of Defense of Belarus, Viktor Khrinin, said during an interview with Al-Jazeera yesterday, that the refugee crisis is fabricated and that the military activities of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on his country’s borders are preparations for war, stressing that there is a plan to deal with any development of the situation on the border with Poland in light of Escalation of the refugee crisis.
Tensions have escalated between Belarus and the European Union in the past weeks, due to the gathering of hundreds of asylum seekers from different countries in the Middle East in camps on the border between Belarus and Poland, in difficult climatic and humanitarian conditions, hoping to enter Europe.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had suggested to German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the European Union open a humanitarian corridor that would allow the transfer of 2,000 refugees to Germany, in exchange for Minsk to help return those who wish to return to their countries, and the Belarusian presidency added that about 7,000 are deployed on its territory, including 2,000 refugees. On the borders of Poland.
Berlin and the European Commission rejected Belarus’ proposal to open a humanitarian corridor for 2,000 refugees, while the United States accused the Belarusian authorities of turning migrants into weapons.
On Thursday, the Belarusian authorities evacuated the main camps where hundreds of refugees were gathering on the border with Poland, in a move that would alleviate the crisis.
The Polish forces had arrested 100 asylum seekers who tried to cross the border.
A spokesman for the Polish border guards said that the camps on the border in western Belarus were completely empty Thursday, but the spokesman said that other groups of migrants appeared elsewhere and were trying to break through the border.