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Warsaw and other EU countries have accused Minsk of transporting migrants to Belarus on purpose to create an immigration crisis, slapping Belarus with new sanctions for this reason. Belarusian authorities strongly deny the EU’s claims.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has alleged that western countries use the ongoing immigration crisis at the Belarus-Poland border as a pretext for escalating tensions and exercising pressure against Belarus – Moscow's neighbor and ally.
"At the same time, they are violating their own obligations in the humanitarian sphere," Putin added.
During a visit to a Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs college, the Russian president touched on a wide range of issues, including the situation with the migrant crisis at the Belarus-Poland border and NATO's drills in the proximity of Russian borders.
The president condemned Poland for using harsh methods against the migrants trying to cross the border, pointing out that many children are among them. Putin recalled that Warsaw denounced the use of such anti-riot tools when Ukrainian law enforcement struggled to contain rioters back in 2014.
Earlier, Poland refused to accept hundreds of migrants who remain stuck at the country's border with Belarus – mostly Iraqi Kurds. They have repeatedly tried to storm the Polish border, with troops pushing them back using water cannons and tear gas.
Warsaw and other EU countries have accused Minsk of transporting migrants to Belarus on purpose to create an immigration crisis, slapping Belarus with new sanctions for this reason. Belarusian authorities strongly deny the EU's claims.
The Russian president separately noted the aggressive attitude that NATO has been exercising lately towards Moscow by constantly moving its infrastructure closer to the Russian borders. Putin stressed that NATO's strategic bombers are already flying a mere 20 kilometers away from the Russian borders.
At the same time, the president stressed that Russia remains a peaceful nation at its core.