Thousands of migrants at the Belarusian border. A migrant pays thousands of dollars to reach the EU

Thousands of migrants are embroiled in an EU-Belarus dispute. Dino, an Iraqi Kurd, knew he was taking a risk trying to sneak into the EU through Belarus. But out of a desire to have a new life, he paid $ 4,000 to a travel agent who arranged a visa and a plane ticket to Minsk.

Late last week, Dino finally reached the Polish border, where he was greeted with barbed wire fences, sub-zero temperatures and armed soldiers sent to prevent people like him from crossing.

“It’s so cold … we’re sitting here and running out of food,” the 47-year-old told the Financial Times this week in a video call from a makeshift border camp with the barrier separating it from Poland visible in the background: “If we could get a visa for Poland, if we could get a visa for Germany … I would go there and work.”

He and thousands of other migrants pushed to the border are pawning in an escalating crisis that EU officials say was orchestrated by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko as part of a plan to destabilize the EU in retaliation for opposition support. Belarusian.

The situation escalated dramatically this week as the largest group of migrants in history headed for the border, prompting an EU warning of new sanctions against Belarus and a threat from Lukashenko to stop gas transit to Belarus. community block.

At the heart of the crisis are migrants themselves, crammed into a thin strip of land, with Polish security services on one side and Belarusian forces on the other. In video chats in the forest camps this week, they talked about the lack of food and water and pointed out the many children in the camp, crowded around the campfires on the frozen ground.

There have been six deaths, according to Polish border police, who have information only on cases on their border.

In the last six months, the number of people trying to enter the EU illegally through its eastern border has risen as Belarus has allowed migrants from countries such as Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen to enter its territory and travel to the border with Poland. , as well as those with Latvia and Lithuania.

(source: AFP)

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