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Putin, Michel discuss crisis at Belarusian-EU border — Kremlin

The Russian President and the European Council President confirmed that it is expedient to establish systematic cooperation between Brussels and Minsk

MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and European Council President Charles Michel discussed the migrant crisis at the border between Belarus and European Union member countries in a telephone conversation and emphasized the need to resolve the crisis in the soonest possible time on the basis of international humanitarian law, the Kremlin said in a statement on Wednesday.

"When touching upon the situation on the borders of Belarus with EU countries, both sides emphasized the importance of having the migrant crisis resolved in the soonest possible time, on the basis of the norms of international humanitarian law," the statement says.

Putin and Michel confirmed that it is expedient to establish systematic cooperation between the European Union and Minsk, as it was agreed in telephone contacts between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"In this context, Vladimir Putin pointed out that the intentions of European states to impose new anti-Belarusian sanctions were counterproductive," the Russian presidential press service said.

According to the Kremlin, the use of water cannons, tear gas, stun grenades along with other special equipment by Polish forces was also the focus of the talks.

The hope was expressed that Charles Michel would work with Warsaw to avoid violence against migrants and refrain from the actions that might result in an escalation," the statement said.

Situation at the Belarusian border

The migrant crisis escalated dramatically on November 8 at the border of Belarus with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, where migrants have been flocking to since the beginning of 2021. Several thousand people have approached the Polish border from Belarusian territory and are not leaving the border area. Some of them tried to storm into Poland by getting over the barbed wire fence.

European Union nations have accused Minsk of deliberate escalation and called for sanctions. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said that Western states are to shoulder the blame for the crisis as their actions make people flee from war.