In an interview with TRT, Alexander Lukashenko accuses the US and other nations of invading and destroying refugees’ home countries.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has blamed the United States and European Union for ongoing migrant crisis at the Poland-Belarus border.
“To begin with, we should consider why these people are fleeing from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and other countries,” Lukashenko told TRT Haber on Monday, referring to the migrants that have been caught up in the crisis.
“It’s because the US, and other “heroic” nations that serve the US, invaded these countries and laid waste to them.”
“These people do not have houses to live in, or the opportunity to feed and dress their children. So they seek refuge, going to countries that are attractive for them,” he added.
Lukashenko also criticised the EU for not doing enough to address the issue in an interview with TRT Haber.
Western governments accuse Lukashenko of luring the migrants to his country to spark a border crisis with the EU in revenge for the bloc's sanctions after last year's presidential elections in the country. Lukashenko denies he is responsible for the influx.
“They arrived legally”
The Poland-Belarus border is part of a major migratory route into the European Union, making Belarus a gateway into Europe for the Middle East and Afghanistan.
At least 8,000 migrants, many of them Iraqis, have entered the EU without authorisation this year from Belarus.
Lithuania and Poland declared a state of emergency at their borders to stop people crossing.
Several people died, trapped in the Poland-Belarus border zone in sub-zero temperatures.
In response to claims that the migrants were invited to Belarus, PM Lukashenko stated the migrants had arrived at Belarus legally, saying “People paid to get to Belarus. They came through completely legal means.”
“So, tell me, what have I, or the Belarusian government, violated?”
“We had been strictly complying with the readmission deals with the EU. So they should not accuse us in vain,” he added.
Relations with Turkiye
Lukashenko also thanked Turkiye for Ankara's approach to the crisis, saying “I would like to thank President Recep Tayyıp Erdogan and his government on behalf of the people of Belarus, for their principled and responsible stance.”
“Turkiye has kept their promises. We have friendly relations with President Erdogan,” he added.
Lukashenko said Western companies associated Turkish Airlines with the crisis in order to suppress it, as it constitutes a “powerful competition” to the companies in the western countries.