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Belarus/Poland migrant crisis

November 12th, 2021

A liberal and a conservative commentator accuse Belarus and Russia of using migration as a weapon to blackmail the European Union. A pro-government commentator identifies Angela Merkel’s ‘Willkommenskultur’ rhetoric as the main cause of the current crisis.

On Telex, Gergely Nyilas accuses President Lukashenko of using migrants to blackmail the EU into lifting sanctions on Belarus. The liberal commentator notes that the Belarus authorities actively participate in the transportation of migrants to the Polish and Lithuanian borders. Nyilas adds that the migration crisis also helps Lukashenko to entrench his power after the large-scale opposition protests last August. As the EU does not seem to bow to Lukashenko’s demands to lift the sanctions, it will take a while to resolve the migration crisis, Nyilas concludes.

Mandiner’s Mátyás Kohán thinks that Russia and Belarus want to take revenge on Europe by creating a crisis. The conservative pundit recalls that the EU has been criticizing and sanctioning Russia since the annexation of Crimea and Belarus since the allegedly rigged elections in 2006. Kohán deems the sanctions counterproductive, as they alienated Russia and Belarus even more. He fears that at this point, it will be very difficult for the EU to find a compromise with Belarus and resolve the migration crisis.

In Magyar Hírlap, Péter G. Fehér acknowledges the role of Belarusian authorities in the migration crisis, but sees Angela Merkel’s ‘Willkommenskultur’ policies and rhetoric as the ultimate trigger of the current situation. Without hoping that they will be welcome in Europe, the pro-government columnist suggests, Middle Eastern migrants would not risk traveling to Belarus. Fehér claims that European elites want to ‘replace Europe’s highly qualified and educated population with an ethnically, culturally, religiously and gender-wise diverse population’ through migration.

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