Polish Senate to vote on Belarus border wall | DW News

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DW News published this video item, entitled “Polish Senate to vote on Belarus border wall | DW News” – below is their description.

Poland’s Senate is preparing to vote today on plans to build a 350 million euro wall along its border with Belarus. Warsaw wants to stop migrants who’ve been trying to cross from Belarus into European Union territory.

The wall would bolster already-existing security measures along the 400 kilometer border. They include fences, patrols and a three-kilometer-wide exclusion zone.

The EU’s eastern borders have become an unexpected entry point for asylum-seekers ever since tensions with Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko flared up last year.

A strip of land between Belarus and Poland has become a purgatory for migrants. They say that if they try to enter Poland, the border guards push them back. If they try to go back to Belarus, the border guards often beat them and send them back toward Poland.

Belarus has suddenly become a well-trodden migration route to the EU.

This summer, hundreds then thousands of migrants showed up at the EU’s northeastern, many of them hoping to travel on to Germany, catching authorities in Poland off guard.

It didn’t take long for Warsaw to come up with a theory why: Belarus was sending them there in retaliation for EU sanctions on President Lukashenko’s government.

Relations between Minsk and Brussels have been bitter since the EU accused Lukashenko of stealing national elections in August 2020. The spat escalated when Minsk forced down an international flight in order to arrest a political dissident. On each occasion, Brussels ramped up targeted sanctions on the Belarusian government.

Lukashenko has denied any tit for tat reactions. But his administration eased visa restrictions for people flying from Iraq after the last round of sanctions, and the number of daily flights between the two countries greatly increased. Many migrants say that once they arrived, they were escorted to the Polish border by Belarusian soldiers.

The arrival of thousands of migrants at once has caused political chaos. But it’s the migrants who are suffering the most. The standoff has left them waiting in inhumane conditions on the Belarusian border, where, so far eight people have died.

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