MINSK, May 26. /TASS/. Polish security forces organized an attack by the group of foreigners armed with sticks and pepper spray on Belarusian border guards, the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus reported on Thursday.
"A couple of days ago, at night, Poland’s security forces attempted to organize an illegal crossing by a group of foreigners into Belarus. <...> Under those conditions, as well as due to the fact that the foreigners being expelled from the Polish side put up resistance, including the use of stones, sticks and pepper spray, physical force was applied while detaining [them]," the statement on the agency’s Telegram channel said. It was noted that those apprehended "were taken to a border service unit for inquiry."
The State Border Committee stressed that "these actions by the Polish side directly point to an intentional creation of a provocative situation aiming to discredit the actions of Belarusian servicemen."
According to the agency, "the foreigners said that members of the Polish security forces took them to the Belarusian border, gave them sticks and pepper spray as well as instructed on their use against the Belarusian servicemen."
Additionally, the Polish side used strobe lights to blind members of Belarusian law enforcement who arrived to intercept the attempt to cross the border.
Relations between Poland and Belarus worsened last November when several thousand Middle Eastern refugees approached the Polish border from Belarus and refused to leave the area, attempting to cross into Poland. The Polish security forces used riot control weapons, including water cannons, to contain the migrants. The Belarusian Investigative Committee assessed their actions as a crime against human security and opened a criminal case. EU countries accused Minsk of intentionally escalating the crisis and called for sanctions. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated that the Western countries themselves were to blame for this quagmire since these people were fleeing war in their homelands because of the West’s belligerent policies.
After a sharp increase in the number of migrants, Poland’s authorities decided to build a fence measuring 5.5 meters in height and 186 kilometers long. The construction began in late January 2022 and the fence is expected to be completed by June. To date, Poland has already built a 100-kilometer-long wall. Minsk asserts that building this fence in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Biosphere Reserve which is on UNESCO World Heritage List will divide the primeval forest into two parts which will violate the integrity of its ecosystem.