Migrants in Peril, and Raw Emotions, in a Volatile European Border Standoff

Those who have risked their lives and spent thousands of dollars trying to flee Belarus are unlikely to accept an offer from the Iraqi embassy in Moscow that they will organise the evacuation of citizens who wish to return home.

Belarusian goods, including potash fertiliser, continue to cross the border, prompting some to demand that all cross-border traffic be halted.

Mr. Lukashenko said, according to the Belarusian state news agency, “We are warning Europe, and yet they threaten to close the border” Isn’t it possible to halt the flow of natural gas to that area??” Those who are “brainless” like the leaders of Poland, Lithuania, and other countries should think before they speak.

The reported death of a 14-year-old Kurdish boy could not be verified because soldiers had sealed off the border zone to reporters and aid workers. According to a report on the Polish website OKO.press, Belarusian security services had taken the boy’s body away overnight.

Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, whose airlines have been accused of helping Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko by transporting migrants to Minsk, the Belarusian capital, are among the countries threatened by the crisis. Last week, the European Union announced its consideration of “blacklisting third-country airlines active in human trafficking.'” (source: EU)

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted angrily Thursday to accusations that Turkish Airlines, by flying to Minsk, had exacerbated the current crisis. According to a statement from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkey “is one of the countries that best understands the test Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are left to face and is in full support of its allies.”

To kick off their march, right-wing demonstrators in Warsaw draped in red and white Polish flags marched through the Roman Dmowski roundabout, named after the anti-Semitic nationalist leader who led Poland before World War II. Some young men trampled a rainbow flag outside a subway station near stalls that sold books denying the Holocaust and celebrating European fascist leaders like Spain’s former dictator, Frederico Franco.