Putin reaffirms that Russia is not involved in the border crisis between Belarus and Poland

Putin reaffirms that Russia is not involved in the border crisis between Belarus and Poland

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday denied allegations that Moscow helped spark a crisis that has left hundreds of Middle Eastern immigrants trapped on the Belarus-Poland border.

Highlighting Western policies in the Middle East as the root cause of the crisis, Putin responded to accusations by Poland and others that Russia was cooperating with Belarus to put pressure on the European Union.

“I want everyone to know that we are not involved in this at all,” Putin said in a televised address.

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Putin added that European leaders should speak to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to resolve the crisis, just as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to do.

“We must not forget that this migrant crisis has its origins in Western countries, including European countries,” Putin said.

The immigrants, the majority of whom are Kurds, have been trapped for days in almost freezing conditions. They set up tents and burned wood for warmth.

Belarus says there are around 2,000 people at the border, including pregnant women and children. Poland estimates that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 people. (AFP / OL-1)


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