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27 September 2021, 12:00

Situation with migrants on Belarus-EU border described as humanitarian catastrophe

MINSK, 27 September (BelTA) – The situation with migrants on Belarus' border with the European Union is a humanitarian catastrophe, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he heard out a report on the situation on the state border of Belarus on 27 September, BelTA has learned.

“Let's talk about what we will do next. It is terrible that people are suffering. They were given clothes, food, firewood, tents. But they will freeze to death in winter. Those people walked thousands of kilometers from the south. There is a humanitarian catastrophe on the border. Neighbors imposed the state of emergency and do not let people enter their country. They do not want anybody to know how people are dying there,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president emphasized that in spite of the situation with migrants, foreign human rights organizations hardly cover this topic at all. “All human rights advocates, with the exception of certain people, have closed their mouths and keep silent. They are also fighting against these people [speaking about the migration crisis and summoning to stop it]. They do not let journalists and human rights activists say a word. They can reach these migrants only from Belarus to see how they live on the border. There was no criticism from international human rights institutions,” the head of state stressed.

Belarus will continue doing its best to help refugees staying on the border. “We must do it, Anatoly Petrovich [Lappo, chairman of the State Border Committee]. How can we stand aside when women and children are dying there?” the Belarusian leader said.

Following his instruction, the Belarusian side provides support to 32 migrants who have been staying on the border for two months without an opportunity to go to the European Union countries. “We give them food, we do not want them to die from freezing and starvation. They do not want to stay in Belarus. They insist on going to Germany. Like the Poles and the Lithuanians demanded, they asked for permission to go and get resident cards. Two months have passed, and nothing happened. Don't they understand that people are freezing? This is their attitude to people,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president also asked about the situation on the border from the point of view of squeezing people from the territory of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and other countries. He said that the number of badly injured migrants is increasing, and this is a serious concern for Belarusians and some compassionate people abroad. “Therefore, today I would like to ask international organizations, leaders, the civil, as they say, society of foreign countries to pay attention to the current situation on the border and to observe human rights which they themselves have declared,” the head of state stressed.

“It is very important for us to decide what we will do in the future. I am saying once again: the weather has changed here; a lot of people will die on the border. As we can see, they don't care, they will not think how to help these people. Belarus will be in charge of it again. So, what will we do in the future?” the head of state asked the participants of the meeting.

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