Hundreds of migrants or refugees are also waiting in Belarus in the new year at the border with Poland, hoping to reach the European Union. At the request of the German news agency, the Belarusian Red Cross in Minsk said that six hundred people are staying in emergency housing in the warehouse of a logistics center in the village of Proszy. Many refugees at the border want to go to Germany.
Counter-sanctions went into effect in Belarus today, in response to sanctions from the European Union, the United States and other countries. As of January 1, the import of many goods from the West is prohibited. The ban applies to meat and dairy products, among others. The regime in Minsk speaks of a reaction to “discriminatory policies and unfriendly actions towards our country.”
Earlier, the European Union imposed sanctions on Belarusians suspected of involvement in the transfer of migrants to the borders of the European Union. The United States, Canada and the United Kingdom have also taken punitive measures.
The European Union accuses Belarus of deliberately bringing people from crisis areas into the country, only to take them to the borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. People had been waiting there for months, hoping to travel to Europe.
The West has criticized authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko for using immigrants to destabilize the European Union. Poland alone recorded about 40,000 attempts to cross the border illegally into Belarus last year.
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