The border crisis flared up last summer when thousands of people, largely from Middle Eastern countries, sought to enter the European Union by crossing the Belarus-Poland border.
The Polish government and the EU accused Belarus of helping the migrants to gather at the frontier and enter Poland, an EU member state since 2004. The Belarusian government, led by President Alexander Lukashenko, denied the claim.
Polish officials argued that Belarus, a landlocked Eastern European country, fomented the crisis in response to sanctions imposed by the EU after Lukashenko declared victory in a disputed presidential election in August 2020.
The border crisis has also affected Lithuania and Latvia, both EU member states neighboring Belarus.
Poland responded to the crisis by declaring a state of emergency in the area, fortifying the border, and repelling groups seeking to force their way across with tear gas and water cannons.
The Belarusian government appeared to take steps to de-escalate the crisis in November. Almost 4,000 Iraqi citizens have been repatriated from Belarus, Iraq’s foreign minister said on Jan. 16.
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