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Poland Reports More Clashes With Migrants Near Belarus Border As EU Prepares Sanctions Against Minsk.

Poland says more than 200 migrants trapped in freezing conditions along the border with Belarus have tried to force their way into the EU member state , as Minsk faces new sanctions over the mounting crisis at the bloc’s eastern frontier.

Polish border guards on November 13 recorded 223 attempts to illegally cross the border, the force wrote in a tweet , while police said officers were attacked in the evening in the Kolonia Klukowicze area during such an attempt.

The impact of a stone thrown by a migrant was so forceful that one officer's helmet was damaged, police said following similar clashes in recent days.

In a separate incident, police said about 50 migrants broke through a border barrier by force near the border village of Starzyna. Police said 22 Iraqi citizens were detained .

Polish authorities have also been detaining people suspected of smuggling the migrants , with two citizens of Georgia, one Pole, and one Syrian held on November 13, police said.

The influx of migrants to Belarus has been building for several months, with thousands of people from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa trying to illegally enter Poland, as well as fellow EU members Latvia and Lithuania.

The EU has accused Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka of flying in migrants and funneling them to the bloc's borders to retaliate against Brussels for sanctions imposed after last year's disputed presidential election.

Lukashenka's government, which is backed by Russia, denies the EU charges and has accused Poland and the EU of violating human rights by refusing to allow the migrants to apply for asylum.

Poland and other EU governments have accused Moscow of helping ally Lukashenka orchestrate the border crisis, which the Kremlin denies.

Thousands of migrants are stuck in makeshift camps in dire conditions between Poland and Belarus, caught at the center of the fierce diplomatic row between Lukashenka and the EU.

Poland has reinforced its border with 15,000 soldiers in addition to border guards and police in an attempt to stop the migrants and refugees stuck in makeshift camps on the Belarusian side of the frontier from entering the country.

Poland's government said it was seeking to dispel rumors among migrants that on November 15 “coaches from Germany will come pick them up from the border and Poland will let them through.”

“It's a lie. The Polish border is and will be well guarded,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski tweeted late on November 13, saying that security alerts were being sent to peoples' phones

Amid the tense standoff on Poland’s eastern border, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on November 15 may approve a new, fifth package of sanctions that could target Belarus's state-owned airline Belavia for its alleged role in transporting migrants to Minsk.

Lukashenka has said that Minsk "must respond" if the EU takes new measures -- raising the possibility of cutting off the transit of Russian natural gas via a pipeline that runs through Belarus to Poland and further into the EU.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin said on November 13 he had spoken to Lukashenka twice over the past week and hadn't even had a "hint" of the threat to cut off gas supplies.

"Of course, in theory, Lukashenka as president of a transit country could order our supplies to be cut to Europe. But this would mean a breach of our gas transit contract and I hope this will not happen," Putin said in a television interview.

"There's nothing good in this, and I will, of course, talk to him about this subject. Perhaps he said that in a fit of temper," he added.

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