The United Kingdom is helping Poland at the border by sending a small unit of its army. There are still groups of refugees trying to enter the European Union via Belarus. The Iraqi government is trying to bring its citizens back from Belarus. Flights to Belarus are also suspended.
The British Army has sent a small unit to NATO ally Poland to help on the border with Belarus. The troops are going to see if the fence on the border with Belarus can be reinforced.
The unit consists of a dozen soldiers and arrived in Poland on Thursday. The soldiers are expected to stay there for a few days. According to the British Ministry of Defence, the mission is mainly about technical support. There would be no plans to allow British soldiers to carry out police duties at the border.
In Belarus, many migrants have gathered at the border with Poland. Sources around the British government say it is appropriate to consider assistance to Poland, because Belarus wilfully allows asylum seekers to the border. This is seen within the EU as retaliation for European sanctions.
The British Ministry of Defence says that the United Kingdom and Poland have long maintained a friendly relationship and are NATO allies.
“A small team of British military personnel has been deployed following an agreement with the Polish government. The aim is to look at how we can provide technical support in view of the current situation on the border with Belarus.”
It is becoming increasingly difficult for migrants from the Middle East to reach Belarus. The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that direct flights between Iraq and Belarus will be suspended. For example, Iraqis must be protected from people smugglers.
Iraq has also announced its intention to bring back civilians trapped in the border area between Belarus and the European Union. Large numbers of migrants have gathered there. They have not been stopped for months on their journey to any of the EU member states and would be assisted by the Belarusian authorities.
Turkey has also taken measures to prevent illegal migration via Belarus. Citizens from Syria, Iraq and Yemen can no longer fly from Turkey to Belarus. The Turkish aviation authority reports that this decision was taken because of the migrant crisis at the border between Belarus and EU countries.
The three groups have been unable to buy flights to Belarus since Friday, nor are they allowed to board flights to that country. The Belarusian carrier Belavia has already announced, at the request of Turkey, that it will stop transporting Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis to Belarus.
Turkey has been accused of contributing to the growing flow of migrants trying to reach the European Union via Belarus, but deny that. Many would come from the Middle East with airline Belavia.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, welcomed Turkey’s decision. On Twitter, he thanks Turkey and the aviation authority for their support and cooperation.