November 15, 2021

Belarus

“Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are considering asking NATO to hold emergency talks as they struggle to manage a tense migration standoff on their borders with Belarus, the Polish prime minister said Sunday… The authoritarian Belarusian regime in Minsk has for months been orchestrating a flow of migrants across its border into the three European Union nations, which form the eastern flank of both the 27-nation EU and NATO… Many migrants are now stuck in makeshift camps in freezing weather as Poland has reinforced its border with 15,000 soldiers in addition to border guards and police.” AP News

Both sides condemn the Belarusian regime and call for sanctions:

“The sanctions should come hard and swift. The United States ought to press Iraq and other nations in the Middle East to cut off flights to Minsk. Poland and Lithuania should allow humanitarian relief as needed for the unfortunate victims huddled along the border fence, but these countries must remain steadfast against Mr. Lukashenko’s thuggery. His departure from office and free and fair elections are the only hope for a new start in Belarus.”
Editorial Board, Washington Post

“First, the United States should pressure the EU to introduce new sanctions on Belarus. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called for the enacting of preset EU sanctions on Belarus. The EU should also consider sanctions on third-party airlines that bring the refugees to Belarus to be used in this manner. But these actions are unlikely to proceed unless the U.S. leverages its EU member state relationships in favor of Poland. The U.S. should then push for further action…

Recognizing Putin's central role in this humanitarian crisis, the Biden administration should also prepare sanctions targeting Russian commodity exporters to Belarus. This tactic would serve a double purpose of imposing costs on Lukashenko's fragile regime while also hitting the fragile Russian economy… The only way this situation is going to end positively is if Putin and Lukashenko feel pain for what they are doing. Otherwise, they will simply continue ruining human lives in order to hurt the West.”
Editorial Board, Washington Examiner

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