Migrants in Belarus torn between hope and resignation
29 November 2021 | 11:00 am
As temperatures across Europe plummet, thousands of migrants are still stuck in Belarus, hoping to find a route into the European Union — although Brussels insists the bloc will not accept them. DW's Nick Connolly met some of them in Minsk.
The Kremlin said Russia is trying to resolve the situation. The EU is reportedly preparing sanctions against a Russian airline over the transportation of migrants to Belarus.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis' Cabinet met on Thursday to tender their resignation. The move follows the coalition agreement between center-right parties after last month's elections.
Turkey has banned nationals from Iraq, Syria and Yemen from traveling to Belarus. It comes amid EU pressure over migrants stranded at Belarus' border with Poland.
In this special edition, we focus on the migrant crisis brewing on the European Union's eastern border. Thousands of people from the Middle East have travelled to Belarus in the hope of entering the EU. Now they are trapped on the border with Poland, desperately trying to survive in freezing conditions. We take a closer look and speak to Kinda Youssef from our InfoMigrants website.
Belarus has signaled its intention to talk with the EU over the humanitarian situation at the Polish-Belarusian border. But the deadlock has proven fatal for some of the thousands stranded while trying to reach the EU.
In a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Belarus' president reportedly said his country is ready to negotiate with the EU on solving the crisis at the Polish border.
Polish security forces report multiple attempts by migrants to cross the border and detain over 100. A migration policy expert says Poland is flouting EU law.
Activists who took part in search and rescue operations off Greece now face charges including human trafficking, espionage, and money laundering.
While some Belarusians have refused to aid the new arrivals from the Middle East, others are pitching in to help wherever they can. DW's Emma Levashkevich reports from Minsk.
The migrants were "crammed" into the trailers of two trucks, according to the local head of the Human Rights Commission. Most were from the neighboring state of Guatemala.
Poland's PM Mateusz Morawiecki slammed Belarus' efforts to use migrants as "weapons" against the bloc ahead of talks with EU leaders. He also accused Belarus of having the "back-room support" of Russian President Putin.
Estonia's recently-elected president is urging caution over the situation at Belarus's borders with the European Union. Thousands of migrants hoping to enter the EU and claim asylum there, mainly from the Middle East, are camped at the borders. Asked by FRANCE 24 how dangerous he judges the tensions to be, Alar Karis said: "I think it's a threat. It's a border of the EU and of a NATO state. We should be very careful and cautious about what's going on Of course the sad thing is that there are innocent people in between that they are using as a shield."
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