Russia’s secret services are managing the migration crisis at the European Union’s borders, using a strategy similar to the one they applied in Crimea and eastern Ukraine in 2014.
That’s according to a Polish analyst and expert on foreign relations Dariusz Materniak, who spoke with Guildhall, Ukrinform reports.
The methods applied by the Russian security agencies on the border with the EU, in particular, with Poland, are similar to what they applied in Ukraine – in Donbas and Crimea – back in 2014. From the very start, from April to May this year, it’s the Kremlin that has actually been orchestrating the crisis, while the Lukashenko regime is just executing it,” Materniak said.
The expert believes the Kremlin’s goal is to deliver a massive blow to the most important values preached by the EU and Western powers in general.Read also: Ukraine aware of dangers of Russia, Belarus integration, foreign minister assures
“After all, the discourse in such a context is that we are supposed to be guided by humanitarian values and let people in, but it’s also obvious that … we cannot neglect values and security issues. A picture of an ‘inhuman’ stance on the part of the EU members is being created for domestic audiences in Russia and Belarus. At the same time, the discourse that has developed in Western societies, destructive for these countries, is about how to respond to such challenges, which is beneficial to Russia,” said the expert.
He stated that Moscow has maintained it is not involved in the migration crisis in Belarus. “But we have received information from Belarus-based journalists and people who work in NGOs that are in opposition to Lukashenko, who say that Russian security operatives, in particular those with the FSB, have been deployed in the areas bordering with Poland and Lithuania, and that they have been handling the said processes. Today, Belarus is not the country that is able to lead own foreign or domestic policy on its own,” the analyst said.
According to the expert, there are already “certain incidents” involving border guards and the Belarus army in relation to the people who had gathered in the border area. “There is a threat that the Belarusian special services may mistakenly – or not so much – kill someone and blame the Polish border guards,” Materniak concluded.Read also: Lukashenko threatens to open “Ukrainian front”: what does it mean?
Earlier, EU spokesman Peter Stano said the European Union in the context of studying the routes by which migrants are brought to Belarus only to be further exploited in a hybrid attack on the borders of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, is carefully looking into the situation in dozens of countries, including the Russian Federation.
As reported, the migration crisis on the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia has been unfolding since August. The three countries have accused Belarus of deliberately creating migratory pressure as part of hybrid efforts targeting them as members of the European Union
With the assistance of the Minsk regime, on November 8, some 3,000 to 4,000 migrants gathered at the border with Poland, attempting to cross in illegally from the territory of Belarus.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called on member states to adopt expanded sanctions against the Lukashenko regime, which uses migrants as a lever to exert political pressure on the EU.