Belarus leader admits to facilitating the entry of migrants into the EU, fueling crisis with the bloc

  • Steve Rosenberg
  • From BBC News in Minsk

Alexander Lukashenko

Credit, Reuters

Photo caption,

Lukashenko is accused of using migration as retaliation against EU-imposed sanctions

Belarus’ authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, admitted in an exclusive interview with the BBC this Friday (11/19) that it is “absolutely possible” that his troops are helping migrants to irregularly enter the European Union – which has triggered a major crisis political-diplomatic in the European bloc.

“It’s absolutely possible that our guys (troops) are helping migrants to enter Polish territory. It’s perfectly possible. I’m not even going to investigate it,” Lukashenko said.

Belarus has been accused – and has so far denied – of encouraging the irregular migration, along its borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, of thousands of desperate people from conflict-ridden countries in the Middle East. Some of them froze to death in border areas.

The migration crisis has unfolded in recent months, as an apparent retaliation by Belarus for being the target of sanctions imposed by the European Union.