On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country was prepared to interject itself into an ongoing crisis between neighboring countries Belarus and Poland. Putin told reporters that Russia is ready to help by providing assistance to address the border problems.
Russia is strongly allied with Belarus. The European Union has been accused of intentionally admitting thousands of migrants from the Middle East to push them to cross Poland illegally.
Russia has consistently denied that its government is involved in any scheme to push illegal aliens into Poland. Putin has blamed the EU and the U.S. for any migrant crisis, stating that Western involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other parts of the Middle East has led to the migrant crisis.
Putin blamed the crisis on the West, citing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. He further claimed that he first learned about the problem at the Belarus-Poland border from media reports. He did admit that he has since spoken with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko multiple times.
The Kremlin has protected Belarus and Lukashenko from unfavorable treatment by the West for decades. Russia has also supported the Belarus economy by loaning billions of dollars worth of loans at favorable terms and selling energy to the country at bargain prices.
Russia has also welcomed hundreds of thousands of labor migrants from Belarus. Its media coverage of Lukashenko’s last election has involved itself in mitigating feelings that the election was rigged for him. The perceived illegitimacy of Lukashenko’s presidency has left him with essentially no allies other than Putin and Moscow.
The EU now sees the situation at the Belarus-Poland border as a calculated attempt to provoke a response from Poland and the EU.
Poland has announced that it has called for emergency conferences with NATO regarding the border crisis. The U.K. has also sent a small military dispatch to provide “engineering support” to the Polish.
Observers believe that Belarus and Russia may end the border if the EU and Germany agree to remove sanctions against the Lukashenko administration. The fate of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline, which is intended to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany via a direct route across the Baltic Sea, will undoubtedly remain in the spotlight.