Hundreds of migrants gather at the Belarus side of the border with Poland near Kuznica Bialostocka, Poland, in this photograph released by the Polish Defence Ministry, on 8 November 2021. - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Merkel Asks Putin to Influence Lukashenko on Migrants Issue

The situation with illegal migrants on the Belarus-Poland border remains tense, as 3,000 to 4,000 people are reportedly stuck in the area.
Two large groups of illegal migrants have broken through from Belarus to Poland, Polish Radio Bialystok has reported. Groups of at least several dozen people broke through the fence in the area of Krynki and Bialowieza, the broadcaster said.
In recent months, Poland, (as well as Latvia and Lithuania) have faced a significant increase in the number of people trying to illegally cross their borders. Warsaw accused Minsk of encouraging migrants from the Middle East and Africa to cross into the EU via Belarus.
Belarusian authorities denied those accusations, saying they have no resources to suppress migration due to the sanctions imposed by the EU.
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18:38 GMT 10.11.2021
Estonia, France, Ireland Ask UNSC to Discuss Poland-Belarus Border Crisis - Source
Estonia, France and Ireland have requested the UN Security Council (UNSC) to hold a meeting on Thursday to address the situation with migrants at the Belarus-Poland border, a source at UNSC told RIA Novosti.
"Wanted to alert you that Estonia, together with France and Ireland asked for an AOB [Any Other Business] on the recent developments in Belarus for tomorrow," the source said on Wednesday.
18:37 GMT 10.11.2021
UN Chief Following With Concern Situation at Belarus-Poland Border
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is following with concern the situation concerning migrants stranded at the Belarus-Polish border and emphasizes that such situations should never be used for political purposes, United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday.
"The Secretary-General is following with concern the situation at the Belarus-Poland border and he reiterates the importance of ensuring that migration and refugee issues are dealt with according to humanitarian principles and international law," Dujarric said during a press briefing. "Such situations should not be used for political purposes and become a cause of tension between states."
18:36 GMT 10.11.2021
EU Works on Sanctions Against 3rd Countries Amid Migration Crisis
The European Union is working on imposing sanctions against third countries involved in the Polish-Belarusian border crisis, Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the European Commission said after her meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday.
“It’s very important that we start put in place sanctions against Belarus together. It’s important that we talk to the countries where the migrants are coming from. And we work on sanctions against countries who are part of the dirty activities of Belarus,” the President of the European Commission said as reported by the White House pool.
18:21 GMT 10.11.2021
Merkel Confirms She Asked Putin to Influence Lukashenko on Migrants Issue
Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that she had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to influence Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on the migration crisis on the border of Belarus with the EU countries.
"I want to thank the countries that care about protecting the external borders of the EU — Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. You all saw pictures from the scene, which give cause for concern. Today I spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him to influence President Lukashenko, because in this case people are used, they become victims of an inhumane policy. Something needs to be done against this, we will talk about this today," she said at a press conference on Wednesday before talks with the prime ministers of Latvia and Portugal.
The solution to this problem must be "humane," she stressed.
18:04 GMT 10.11.2021
EU to Announce New Sanctions on Belarus Next Week
The European Union is planning to impose new sanctions on Belarus and the corresponding announcement will come early next week, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said after her meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday.
"EU will announce more Belarus-related sanctions, including against entities, early next week, " the President of the European Commission said as reported by the White House pool.
The possibility of sanctioning airlines that facilitate human trafficking towards Minsk is on the agenda of the talks for the upcoming sanctions, Von Der Leyen added.
16:48 GMT 10.11.2021
Belarusian FM Denies Allegations Russia is Involved in Belarus-EU Border Crisis
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei told Sputnik on Wednesday that statements made by Western politicians about Russia’s involvement in the migration crisis between Belarus and the EU member states are false.
"I know that no one has ever received any instructions from Moscow about organizing illegal migration. This is the result of the actions of the EU itself. They are just attempting to justify their confrontational policy towards Russia," Makei said.
16:47 GMT 10.11.2021
Borell: EU Communication With Third Countries Necessary to Curb Migration Via Belarus
The European Union should significantly expand communication with third countries to curb the flow of migrations to the EU via Belarus, foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Wednesday.
"To date, the European external action service has been outreaching with 13 relevant partner countries but now our reach out have to be much more extended," Borrell told the European Parliament.
16:46 GMT 10.11.2021
German Gov't Spokesman Says Minsk Avoids Direct Contact With Berlin Since 2020
Minsk avoids direct communication with Berlin since the August 2020 presidential election, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday, when asked why outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel did not call Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
"The German side's assessment is that the Russian leadership has significant influence in Minsk and on the Lukashenko regime. Merkel had a phone conversation with the Russian president. What she said about the instrumentalization of people, migrants, she would say it directly, of course, to any representative of Belarus," Seibert told a press conference.
The spokesman added that the chancellor is trying to communicate with Lukashenko since the political crisis in Belarus after the 2020 election.
"At that time, no opportunities were created from the other side for this [communication], there was no interest in this. I can't say more about this, but a conversation with Putin is a conversation with someone who will be listened to in Minsk," Seibert said.
16:45 GMT 10.11.2021
Ukraine to Double Number of Border Guards in Service Over Migration Threat From Belarus
Ukraine will double the number of border guards on the state border due to the threat of illegal migration from Belarus, the National Guard and the National Police will also be involved, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said.
"As for the border guards, their number will double at the state border. Serious reserves of the National Guard and the National Police will also be involved, which will be deployed near the border. Mobile groups will also function, move along the border to detect illegal border crossings." Monastyrsky said at a briefing on Wednesday.
15:15 GMT 10.11.2021
NATO Official Says Alliance Stands by Ally Poland in Migrant Crisis on Border With Belarus
"Allies made clear that Belarus bears responsibility for the crisis and that the Lukashenko regime's use of migrants as a hybrid tactic is inhumane, illegal and unacceptable," a NATO official said, referring to President Alexander Lukashenko, after the closed-door meeting in Brussles.
15:04 GMT 10.11.2021
EU Source Not Ruling Out Holding Urgent EU Summit on Belarus Amid Migration Crisis
EU member states' leaders may hold an extraordinary meeting on Belarus in a videoconference format amid the influx of migrants to Poland after discussing the topic at the ministerial level, a source in the bloc told reporters on Wednesday.

"It looks very likely that on EU27 ministerial level the border issue and the sanctions will be discussed shortly. A leaders’ VTC [videoconference] might follow afterwards," the source said.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Belarus during a meeting next Monday.
12:40 GMT 10.11.2021
Polish Prime Minister Says Border Crisis Caused by Belarus' 'State Terrorism'

"What we are facing here, and we have to state it clearly, is a manifestation of state terrorism", Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said at a briefing following negotiations with European Council President Charles Michel.

12:35 GMT 10.11.2021
Poland Will Close Regular Checkpoint on Border With Belarus If Breach Attempts Continue
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Poland will close regular checkpoints with Belarus if migrants make attempts to illegally cross the border, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday.

"First of all, we are thinking about closing border crossings where the attack is taking place… Unless Lukashenko reduces his pressure unless he stops his political measures of using living shields, the hybrid warfare, unless he stops his political blackmail we will have to shut down other border crossings", Morawiecki told a press conference.

12:19 GMT 10.11.2021
Polish PM Morawiecki Suggests Blocking Flights From Middle East to Belarus

"We have to talk about effective blocking of flights from the Middle East to Belarus because we know that this is just an instrument of political revenge", Morawiecki told a press conference after his meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in Warsaw.

11:28 GMT 10.11.2021
Kremlin Alarmed Over Situation at Poland-Belarus Border, Understands Its Complexity
This picture taken on March 18, 2021, shows the Kremlin towers in front of the Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters. - Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 18 mocked Joe Biden for calling him a killer -- saying it takes one to know one -- as ties between Moscow and Washington sunk to new lows. US President Biden's comments sparked the biggest crisis between Russia and the United States in years, with Moscow recalling ambassador and warning that ties were on the brink of outright collapse.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.11.2021
Kremlin Alarmed Over Situation at Poland-Belarus Border, Understands Its Complexity
11:18 GMT 10.11.2021
Polish Prime Minister, EU Council Chief to Talk Belarus Border Migrant Crisis Later on Wednesday
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will discuss later on Wednesday with European Council President Charles Michel the latest migrant influx related developments at the border between Poland and Belarus, Morawiecki's office said.

"On 10 November, PM @Morawiecki will host @eucopresident @CharlesMichel to discuss the current situation on the Polish-Belarusian border," the office tweeted.
10:48 GMT 10.11.2021
Putin and Merkel Discuss Migrant Crisis on Poland-Belarus Border
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the migration crisis at the EU-Belarusian border during a phone conversation on Wednesday, the Kremlin said.

"The situation with refugees on the borders of Belarus with the EU countries was examined in detail. Concern was expressed about the humanitarian consequences of the migration crisis... Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel agreed to continue the conversation on this issue," the Kremlin said in a statement.

In addition, Putin proposed to "establish a discussion of the problems" directly between Minsk and the EU.
10:14 GMT 10.11.2021
Minsk Sees Risk of Border Conflict With Poland Over Situation With Migrants

"The facts of the use of weapons by the Polish security forces against refugees were repeatedly confirmed by video recordings made earlier. There was no reaction to such actions of the Polish authorities from the EU, which indicates a tacit agreement with almost any illegal actions in solving the migration crisis," the Belarusian Border Committee said in a statement, obtained by Sputnik.

The committee added that such actions may lead to "a border conflict".
09:52 GMT 10.11.2021
Kremlin Blasts Polish PM for 'Unacceptable' Claims That Russia is Linked to Migrant Crisis
09:37 GMT 10.11.2021
Multiple Trucks Stuck at Polish-Belarusian Border - Border Guards
WARSAW (Sputnik) - A massive queue of trucks can be seen at the Polish-Belarusian border after the closure of the Kuznica checkpoint, Katarzyna Zdanovich, a spokeswoman of the border committee in Poland’s Podlaskie region, said on Wednesday.

"According to my information, the waiting time at the border crossing in Bobrovniki is 39 hours", Zdanovich told reporters, adding that the queue is now 25 kilometres long.

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