EU says Belarus is flying in vulnerable migrants from third countries and sending them to the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in retaliation against the bloc’s sanctions on the Lukashenko govt.

Western governments accuse Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko of luring migrants to his country and sending them to cross into EU member Poland.
Western governments accuse Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko of luring migrants to his country and sending them to cross into EU member Poland. (Reuters)

Belarus has blamed the migrant crisis on its border on the European Union and accused the bloc of rejecting talks on measures to reinforce the frontier. 

"We would be interested in the crisis being resolved as quickly as possible," Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told Russian state news agency RIA Novosti in an interview on Thursday.

"We offered to the European Union to hold consultations on this matter, but were rebuffed," Makei said.

"Since then, we have proposed to start a dialogue on this matter numerous times, but have not received a positive answer."

Migrants have been trying to cross the Belarus-Poland border for months but the crisis reached a new level when hundreds made a concerted effort this week and were pushed back by Polish borders guards.

READ MORE: Merkel urges Putin to press Belarus over migrant issue

'State terrorism'?

Makei pointed to the EU's decision last year to stop financing projects in Belarus to reinforce border infrastructure and build shelters for illegal migrants.

The move came as Western countries imposed a series of sanctions on Belarus over a heavy crackdown on the opposition.

In response Minsk suspended its Readmission Agreement with Brussels, which required Belarus to take back migrants who crossed its territory into the EU.

Western governments accuse Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko of luring them to his country and sending them to cross into EU member Poland in retaliation for the sanctions.

Poland has accused Minsk of "state terrorism" for using intimidation to force migrants to breach the border.

Belarus has in turn accused Poland of violating international norms by blocking the migrants and beating them back with violence.

Caught in between, the migrants – who are mainly from the Middle East – are stuck in freezing conditions.

Minsk and ally Moscow have blamed Western military interventions there for provoking the migrant crisis.

READ MORE: Explained: Migrant crisis on Poland-Belarus border

Makei said in the interview that the crisis was the result of "the European Union's thoughtless policy related to the destruction of the statehood in a number of countries."

He said that Belarus would undertake "the most decisive measures" to prevent conflict on the border.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies