Warsaw claims under Providing evidencethat some people on the Belarusian side are not only organizing attempts to smuggle in migrants through border barriers, but are actually forcing these people to act in this way. Belarusian officials in turn throw the Polish side suggest excessively harsh crackdowns, including the unjustified use of force.
from Naviny.online translated into German by Sedan Paramon
Who is to blame for the situation?
It is possible that the allegations are true to some extent. It is unlikely that four Nobel Prize winners, including Svetlana Aleksievich, had no reason whatsoever to call on the European Unionto ensure humane treatment of migrants trying to get there via Belarus.
However, it is not easy to come up with a rational explanation for the huge increase in the number of Middle Eastern citizenswho suddenly decided to enter the European paradise via Belarus.
What is particularly impressive, however, is the awesome demeanor of the local law enforcement agencies, previously not known for their liberalism. As the Head of the Interior Ministry, Ivan Kubrakov, said the foreigners were legally in Belarus and respected the laws there, the lawyers responded with a list of violations of nearly half a dozen articles of the Administrative and Criminal Code, some of which can be severely punished.
No way to get Europe to negotiate
In view of these facts, the failure of the Belarusian authorities to participate in developments on the borders with EU countries appears doubtful. Especially since the bonuses that Minsk could receive in the event of a successful operation are quite obvious.
Independent experts agree that the main objective was to start direct negotiations with the EU, to exchange the solution to the migration crisis for the lifting or at least a significant relaxation of the sanctions imposed by Brussels.
So far, however, this goal has not been achieved. Rather the opposite is the case: As reported by Reuters, the EU is preparing to introduce another fifth package of sanctions before, which will affect around 30 people and institutions, including possibly Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei.
In particular, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has chosen for the swift introduction of sanctions. Same point of view also represented Germany, represented by his Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Austria and France, who so far have not been among the greatest critics of the Belarusian regime, also spoke sharply against this.
As a result, the package seems likely to be accepted.
Moscow has supported it so far
Another aim of Minsk is to secure the support of Moscow, which is playing a not insignificant role in the development of events.
In the West, many believe that this is behind the escalation of the migration crisis and directly encourages their allies to behave in this way. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki designated the crisis as an expression of Russia’s neo-imperial policy.
Whether this is true or not, the Kremlin backs the Belarusian leadership. On September 9, at a press conference following his meeting with Alexander Lukashenko, Vladimir Putin said that the problem of migrants had nothing to do with Russia and urged Western leaders to communicate directly with the Belarusian authorities. Putin gave the same advice to the incumbent German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a telephone conversation on November 10th.
Again Belarusian political scientist Artem Shraibman stated Moscow’s stance on the crisis can only change if it has problems on the ground itself. This could happen when migrants unable to get to Europe try to get into Russia and cause trouble for the country’s border regions. However, this doesn’t seem very likely at the moment.
Moscow could also be concerned if there were disagreements with Germany over migrants, as is already emerging.
The Kremlin, too, needs no serious armed conflict on the border. So far there does not appear to be an imminent threat, but in an escalated situation, spontaneous fighting could ensue.
Does Minsk go away empty-handed?
In any case, a further escalation of tensions at the borders with the European Union can lead to changes in both domestic and foreign policy of Belarus.
In Warsaw will especially the possibility discussed a complete closure of the Polish-Belarusian border. Such a blockade would certainly hit Poland itself, but the Belarusian economy would suffer even more. Other EU countries, Russia and China will also suffer, so they all want to eliminate the cause …
In addition, the mass of migrants who stay on Belarusian territory in winter will certainly face significant material and domestic difficulties. Accordingly, the number of different incidents in which these people are involved is expected to increase dramatically within the country. A massive dissatisfaction of the Belarusians is then quite likely.
In addition, Moscow will of course use the crisis to increase its military presence in Belarus, which is by and large not in Lukashenko’s own interests as he sees it as a threat to his personal power.
If the Belarusian leadership calculates these options, it will come away with nothing.