Its ammunition is refugees.. The “war” of Poland and Belarus is raging, and Europe threatens Minsk with new sanctions
Polish-Belarus border If you think that every war requires soldiers, weapons, equipment, and ammunition… it may be time to change your mind!
What is happening on the border between Poland and Belarus is a new model for a modern type of war whose ammunition is made by refugees who left their countries in search of better life opportunities, only to find themselves as fuel in a geostrategic battle in which they have no choice or camel.
This modern type of war bears the name “hybrid wars”, or “hybrid wars”, according to the name given by the European Union in describing this crisis, and researchers call it “grey zone” wars, which are wars in which all means are used except weapons, and if used without Take responsibility for it!
The origin of the crisis
The crisis between the European Union and Belarus is not new, but it erupted last year after the re-election of Alexander Lukashenko as president of the country he has led since 1994.
The European Union did not recognize the results of these elections due to the fraud and violence against the opposition, according to European assurances, and then the European Union imposed sanctions against Belarus, which expanded after Belarus, on May 23, 2021, forcibly landed a Ryanair plane in order to arrest Dissident journalist Raman Pratassevitch on board the flight.
The new wave of sanctions imposed in June of this year included 8 institutions and 78 personalities, including the president himself.
The European Union said at the time that 8 personalities and one institution were directly linked to the so-called air piracy that targeted the “Ryan Air” plane.
President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Moscow, did not stand idly by, but hit where it hurts! Use the immigration weapon!
According to the European narrative, which is supported by the facts on the ground, Lukashenko has opened the door to granting visas to citizens of countries living in difficult humanitarian conditions from the Middle East and African countries.
Thus, Belarus received thousands of people wishing to reach Europe from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and African countries, and all that remained was to push them to the border with Poland, the gateway to the European Union.
There is no exact figure for the number of asylum seekers stranded on the Belarusian side of the border, as they are spread over the 400 km separating Belarus and Poland.
But most estimates indicate that their number is about 4 thousand in one camp on the border with the town of Koznica, and among them are patients, children and women.
International organizations say that about 10 thousand others have arrived in Belarus, but they have not yet reached the border.
These refugees live in tragic conditions in freezing weather and in the almost complete absence of all the necessities of life, which led to the documentation of 8 deaths, while Polish media sources reported 10 deaths, which rose to 11 on Saturday, after the police announced that the body of a Syrian refugee had been found in the forest.
Thus, Poland found itself, with the European Union behind it, facing a new refugee crisis that put the Europeans in political and moral embarrassment.
Poland did not hesitate one step in the face of the new wave of refugees; It closed its border with Belarus, and deployed 15,000 soldiers along their 400-kilometre common border.
It declared that it would not allow any asylum seeker to cross the border.
At the same time, it accused its neighbor Belarus of orchestrating this crisis to blackmail the European Union, and the Polish Prime Minister even accused Belarus of waging war against his country “whose ammunition are refugees.”
On another occasion, the Polish Prime Minister went so far as to describe what Belarus is doing as “state terrorism”.
Despite the escalating differences between the European Union and Poland on many issues, the latest of which is related to the independence of the judiciary, this did not prevent the Union from expressing its absolute support for Poland.
There is no surprise in that, as its borders are the same as those of the European Union, and Poland is not intended in this crisis for its own sake, but rather for its European affiliation, and if it opens its doors to asylum seekers, it will only be a transit station for them to land in Germany or other more prosperous countries.
Thus, the European position came as a credit and warning of new sanctions against what a UNHCR spokesperson described as the behavior of “tramps”, in reference to the recruitment of refugees to the Polish borders, according to European accusations.
In order to confirm the declaration of this European support, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, visited Poland, and called for standing together in the face of this crisis, and stressed that new sanctions are on the table to be discussed by the EU countries next Monday.
In addition, the issue of financing the construction of a barrier to prevent migrants from crossing has returned to the discussion table, a position that was rejected by the European Commission and demanded by countries such as Poland.
Charles Michel has said that it is “legally possible” for the EU to finance such infrastructure.
Pending its meeting on Monday, in which it is expected to impose new sanctions on Belarus, the European Union transferred the crisis to the UN Security Council, which held an emergency closed meeting in which it discussed this crisis at the request of Estonia, France and Ireland.
Last Wednesday, United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric said during his daily press conference that “these situations should not be exploited for ends and should not turn into a source of tension between countries,” and that the United Nations Secretary-General (Antonio Guterres) reiterated “the importance of addressing migration and refugee issues.” in accordance with humanitarian principles and international law.
Minsk rejects the accusations of the Europeans in whole and in detail, and bears the responsibility for immigration to the West because of its military interventions in the Middle East, as described, but its president threatened to escalate if more sanctions were imposed.
He went so far as to threaten to cut off the supplies of Russian gas that crosses Belarusian soil towards Europe, and deployed military forces on the borders.
It was clear that he was not in a hurry to resolve this crisis, as he announced in Belarus the start of building a refugee camp on the border, which means prolonging this crisis and using it as a card against the Europeans for as long as possible.
In this he enjoys sufficient Russian support, which does not turn the crisis into a mere bilateral crisis between Belarus and Poland, but rather a multipolar one that restores the atmosphere of the Cold War, despite the different picture and the change of borders where the European Union and with it NATO confront Russia and its allies.
Russia .. Part of the solution or part of the problem?
In the corridors of European diplomacy and in the “NATO” alliance, everyone realizes that the battle is not with Belarus alone, but with its ally Russia.
The Polish prime minister even went so far as to see that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the mastermind of this crisis, and that Poland is just his implementing arm.
Russia does not hide its support for Minsk in this crisis. Its foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, accused Western institutions of launching an “anti-Belarus campaign”, and said that Minsk and Moscow “effectively strengthened their cooperation to confront” this campaign.
But Moscow rejects Western accusations that it organized the campaign to bring refugees to the European borders.
In fact, Russian support for Belarus has gone beyond statements, and taken on a military dimension, with the start of joint exercises to land paratroopers near the Polish border, a clear message that does not need to be explained in military language.
But the West realizes that any solution to the crisis necessarily passes through Moscow, so there are messages sent by capitals to Moscow to intervene.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Putin to “exercise his influence” in Minsk in order to put an end to what she considered “inhumane” exploitation of migrants, and the French assistant foreign minister went in the same direction.
But it is clear that Moscow will not provide free gifts to the European Union, and it is aware that by using the refugee card, it will hit the European Union where it hurts!
The European position regarding the sanctions that may be imposed on Belarus will be decisive in the process of this crisis.