Belarus proposes putting migrant flows on ‘radar’ to Poland

State-owned Belarus news agency Belta cited sources in Minsk saying that President Alexander Lukashenko’s government was considering creating a joint commission with Poland to initiate a process of diverting migrant flows to Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last year suggested another joint commission with Poland to deal with Europe’s migrant crisis, but that one never materialized.

In its report, Belta did not identify the sources, but said Lukashenko was growing exasperated with the EU’s failure to bring an end to the flow of illegal migrants crossing the Baltic Sea from Russia.

The European Union and Ukraine have signed a deal under which they plan to destroy the almost 1,200 kilometer-long, unmarked border between them and deport migrants from Ukraine back there.

The border post at Nezhdestvensky on the Ukrainian side is the main entry point for illegal migrants from the east, through a porous territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

Lukashenko has sent thousands of troops to the border with Ukraine in recent months in an attempt to turn the tide of migration, notably from Ukraine, but he says Kiev is not doing enough to stop migrants entering.

For a second consecutive week, migrants from central Asia and the Middle East continued to cross the border between Ukraine and Belarus this week.

According to an AFP photographer who is on patrol with the group, groups of migrants, including women and children, mostly from Iran, Afghanistan and the Islamic State group, now cross the border at all hours of the day, usually on foot.

Russia and Belarus are considering introducing restrictions for citizens of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Russians could be restricted from entering Belarus without special permits.

The proposals follow a recent statement by Lukashenko’s foreign minister Mikhail Mamiashvili that he plans to invite representatives of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to Minsk for a conference this year to prepare a regular naval fight with NATO’s Northern Fleet.

The proposed naval war came in response to a meeting of the Baltic Council which proposed building a shield to protect the region from the increased military activities of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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