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Graphic shows how Belarus is using migrants as a weapon against the EU.


Belarus – migrant gateway to the EU

By Duncan Mil

November 12, 2021 - Most migrants on the Belarusian borders with the European Union use newly established travel agencies to book tourism packages that include visas from Belarusian consulates.

With the support of the EU, Poland and Lithuania accuse Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of retaliating against them by channelling thousands of migrants across their frontier. Lithuania plans to build a 508-kilometre (316-mile) fence to control the flow, while Poland has declared a state of emergency along its border as the numbers increase.

Poland estimated that 4,000 people, mainly from the Middle East and Asia, are gathered at the Kuznica border crossing. Almost 16,000 migrants have attempted to cross the Belarus-Poland border illegally since August.

With little more than tents for shelter, they face freezing winter temperatures -- prompting growing calls from the international community to address their plight.

Documents found on the border between Belarus and Poland show that newly established travel agencies offer migrants the chance to travel to Belarus by selling them false hopes on entering European Union countries.

The package tours marketed to migrants cover both the actual trip and the necessary documents providing entry to Belarus, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

However, many of those who bought into such “group trips” noted that they only received a one-way ticket and an entry permit to Minsk, Belarus’ capital city.

In the United Nations Security Council on Thursday (November 11), Britain, Estonia, France, Norway, and the United States condemned what they called “the orchestrated instrumentalization of human beings whose lives and well-being have been put in danger for political purposes by Belarus.”

PUBLISHED: 12/11/2021; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images