The first group of British soldiers was stationed on the Polish-Belarusian border on Wednesday. Polish troops must assist in guarding their role borders.
In resigning under Prime Minister Andrei Babis, the Czech government on Wednesday approved an order to send 150 troops, highlighting the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border.
They can work 180 days there. The resignation was announced by Defense Minister Lubomir Mednar on Twitter, cited on the Novinky.cz portal.
The order has not yet been approved by both houses of the Czech parliament, the minister added. Politicians from the incoming coalition of TOTAL and Pirates with the STAN movement (mayors and independents) have already expressed support for the move.
Medner explained at a news conference that the costs would be 86 million crowns (37 3.37 million) and would be taken from the defense ministry’s budget.
Czech Republic aid Poland has repeatedly offered to do so in a letter to President Milos Zeman. Czech troops should assist Poland in border security, but will not directly carry out related missions for migrants.
Poland has been facing migrant pressure on its border with Belarus since the spring, but the crisis escalated in the autumn.
At the same time, Poland, the Baltic states and other EU countries accuse authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime of attracting immigrants from crisis areas to their country and then sending them to EU borders. According to them, Minsk is retaliating for EU sanctions imposed on the regime for human rights abuses, which Belarus denies.
“Alexander Lukashenko’s regime is abusing the pressure of illegal immigration from the European Union. Poland needs our help,” he told the Czech Foreign Minister Jakul Gulhanek. In his opinion, Lukashenko is stepping up “cynical exploitation of immigrants.”
Gulhanek, quoting the Novinky.cz portal, said “Europe cannot tolerate this.”
British soldiers are already on patrol
The first contingent of British troops stopped at the Polish-Belarus border on Wednesday. Their role was to assist Polish troops in securing the border. This was stated by the Polish Defense Minister Marius Blaszczyk.
“The first soldiers from Great Britain support the Polish army on the Polish-Belarusian border. The role of British soldiers is to repair temporary fences and maintain and clean roads,” Blaszczak wrote on social networking site Twitter.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has agreed to send foreign troops. The border area will also serve a team of 150 Estonian soldiers.
The West accuses Belarus of causing a crisis on the Polish border in an attempt to put pressure on the EU. It imposed sanctions on the regime in Minsk for suppressing the opposition and the independent media. Belarus rejects Brussels’ argument and calls on the EU to accept immigrants.
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