MOSCOW, 6 December (BelTA) – Western countries bear the full responsibility for the migrant crisis. The political analyst Aleksandr Shpakovsky made the statement at a roundtable session held in Moscow on 6 December, BelTA has learned. The analyst participated in the session using videoconference technologies.
In his words, European neighbors are to blame for the migrant crisis from the global point of view and from the tactical one. As for the global one, they have destabilized Africa and the Middle East. As for the tactical one, they have terminated cooperation with the Belarusian side in border protection due to completely incomprehensible reasons, Aleksandr Shpakovsky said.
The analyst pointed out that it is the policy of the collective West and interference in affairs of sovereign countries that have brought about the phenomenon of illegal migration from African and Middle East countries. “Syria, Libya, and Iraq did not represent a source of migration threat when so-called secular dictators ruled them,” he reminded. “But after the collective West tried to enforce democracy over there using its allegedly universal patterns, the factor of Islamic terrorism appeared there and multiple ethnic and religious groups faced the threat of physical elimination.”
Aleksandr Shpakovsky remarked that Kurds and Yazidis choose different ways to flee. “Including the way of Belarus, which accounts for only 5% of the total flow of illegal migrants to Europe,” the analyst said. “They flee the threat of elimination, death, and hunger to trouble-free countries of the West. But Poles meet them with herbicides and subject them to torment and torture. In my opinion, these actions should be the subject of an international investigation.”
Aleksandr Shpakovsky remarked that despite the differences of opinion that have existed for decades, Belarus and the European Union maintained rather effective interaction in the area of border security till 2020. “Moreover, Belarus was proud of being a reliable Western partner in matters concerning border protection. We stopped illegal migrants, drugs trafficking, weapons smuggling from the East to the West and so on. The State Border Committee of Belarus enjoyed rather high trust of its Western partners. Moreover, various technical aid programs between the European Union and the Belarusian border service were realized for many years. In exchange Belarusians rather effectively blocked illegal migration traffic along the so-called northern route,” Aleksandr Shpakovsky pointed out.
Aleksandr Shpakovsky noted that the migration problem did not emerge just now. “Only specialists, who kept an eye on news from the State Border Committee of Belarus, knew that the Belarusian border guard could apprehend up to 30 people coming from Middle East countries, Asian countries per shift. And respectively measures were taken to deport them to their native countries. Moreover, negotiations took place in 2019-2020 on building so-called filtration centers in Belarus because our colleagues from the European Union were concerned about accommodation standards of the refugees,” the analyst noted.
Aleksandr Shpakovsky also said that a smoothly operating system had been built to counteract illegal migration. Belarus and the European Union signed a readmission agreement and the relevant document was signed between Belarus and Russia. “The entire system of international legal relations was designed to ensure border security and the relevant cooperation,” Aleksandr Shpakovsky stressed. “And the desire was mutual. However, after the presidential election in August 2020 our European partners suddenly decided to terminate these programs upon Lithuania's initiative. The relevant cooperation was terminated. Belarus stopped receiving any aid. Moreover, the contacts that the State Border Committee of Belarus had maintained with European colleagues, including partner agencies in Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, were terminated upon the initiative of the European side. Naturally in these conditions Belarus revised its approach to illegal migration.” At the same time the West launched an unprecedented campaign to put pressure on Belarus through sanctions. This factor could not but affect Belarus' ability to stop migrants.
Aleksandr Shpakovsky said: “The countries Belarus borders on prevented migrants from filing asylum applications at border checkpoints in line with the Geneva Convention. Migrants cannot realize their legal rights. They are subjected to humiliating beatings and torture and are pushed back into Belarus. Many migrants opted to try to cross the Belarusian border illegally. Naturally some managed to illegally enter the European Union and some couldn't. The countries, which only recently cared about accommodation conditions for dozens of refugees in Belarus, started beating up people in their hundreds. The number of people, who died at the Belarusian border, has yet to be totaled.”
Aleksandr Shpakovsky cited Western mass media, which believe that there are dozens and hundreds of migrant graves near the Belarusian-Polish border. “It is probably the reason why our Polish neighbors have restricted access of reporters, international functionaries, including Red Cross representatives, to their border while everything is open on the Belarusian side,” the analyst stressed.