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12 November 2021, 10:35

Russian diplomat calls Poland, Lithuania's handling of migrants ‘a total shame'

MINSK, 12 November (BelTA) – Poland's handling of migrants stranded at the border with Belarus runs afoul of international norms, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN Dmitry Polyanskiy said prior to the UN Security Council session to discuss the situation at the Belarusian-Polish border, TASS reports.

“There are a lot of cases when Polish and Lithuanian border guards beat migrants and pushed them back to Belarusian territory. This is a total shame and a total violation of any possible international conventions,” he said.

The diplomat noted that Russia has many questions to ask the EU countries about the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border. “We have many questions for them, and we will certainly raise them with our counterparts,” he said.

Dmitry Polyanskiy added that after the suspension of the Belarus-EU readmission agreement, Belarus has no reason to send migrants back. The diplomat stressed that this “would be a violation of international conventions”.

When asked if Russia and Belarus were helping migrants to get to the European Union's eastern border, he said, “Absolutely not.”

Dmitry Polyanskiy added that he did not agree with the West's description of the migrant crisis as artificially created. “Talk to the migrants and you will find out how artificial it is. I saw reports on German television showing people who managed to get into the EU. They said that it was completely their decision. Nobody put pressure on them, and they have all legal grounds to stay in Belarus,” the diplomat said.

Dmitry Polyanskiy added that the flights of Russian aircraft over Belarus was Russia's response to Poland's military buildup at the border and this response is part of Russia's commitments to Minsk.

“People who see it from this point of view (calling such flights a provocation) forget to mention that this is a response to the massive military build-up by Poland at the border with Belarus, and that we have certain obligations within the framework of the Union State of Russia and Belarus and within the framework of the CSTO,” Dmitry Polyanskiy said.

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