The children of Belarus and Poland, who were caught up in the fallout from escalating tensions between the two countries over the past week, are now forced to battle the cold without blankets.
The following is a paragraph from The Times of London.
Tensions between the two countries have escalated over the past week, as Belarus mounted a diplomatic confrontation with Poland over a United Nations resolution condemning Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine. Three young children have become the latest victims of the growing tensions, and were denied a flight out of Belarus for a third night on Saturday as they endured freezing nights without accommodation.
Two of the children, ages three and five, along with their mother, escaped Belarus after their camp was destroyed, but another child, age seven, was detained, as he was the last person to make the journey.
Their deportation from Belarus to Poland was refused, due to Polish officials claiming they feared they would not be allowed to use the region for sleeping.
“These are clearly children who do not have a choice. People who do not have parents don’t have the right to stay in such conditions,” Pavel Wulsin, chief of police at Ramoseri, the Belarus town where the family is located, told The Times. “I have not ever experienced anything like this.”
The conflict erupted on Tuesday, when Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko sent new military troops to the Polish border to prevent that country’s army from crossing over to fight the Kremlin against separatists in eastern Ukraine.
These soldiers, who were sent to block NATO troops from the area, were provided with war-related gear to stage a “propaganda” in favor of the country’s territorial integrity, Lukashenko’s deputy chief of staff Vladislav Gorbatov told local media.
The move brought Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Poland, four of the countries affected by the Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine, to the brink of military confrontation with Moscow.
“For now, Belarus is not the military power it used to be. Every night, Belarusia is under the spell of Kremlin’s propaganda and is a spectator to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine,” Gorbatov told Ukrainskaya Pravda.
Hours after Lukashenko’s remarks were released, the Russian Foreign Ministry sent a message to Lukashenko calling him “irresponsible.”
In response, the Belarusian President announced on Thursday that the soldiers would be allowed to return to their home base.
Belarusian border troops, who were transported to Belarus on Thursday after being blocked from crossing the border to Poland, withdrew from the border, authorities said on Friday.
“An agreement has been signed, with Belarusian officials, in which the troops are preparing to return to Belarus,” Dariusz Sokolowski, a spokeswoman for the Polish Defense Ministry, told RPP.
Read the full story at The Times of London.
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