Interfax-Ukraine

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Demchenko: Kremlin uses migration crisis to induce EU to accelerate launch of Nord Stream 2, reduce sanctions pressure on Russia.

Russia is artificially organizing the migration crisis, actually using Belarus to create a new point of destabilization of the security situation in Eastern Europe, Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Ruslan Demchenko wrote in the column on Interfax-Ukraine website.

"The current leadership in Minsk, in unison with the Kremlin, according to customary tradition, is trying to blame the 'collective West' for the emergence of a massive flow of refugees in the direction of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Russia and Belarus constantly reproach the NATO states that it was their policy in the Middle East that led to the emergence of a wave of migration of citizens trying to illegally enter the EU," Demchenko said.

The NSDC deputy secretary said that in reality the situation on the border between Belarus and the EU is opposite, and "we are witnessing the implementation of the next stage of a complex scenario of destabilizing the situation in the European Union and the post-Soviet countries, aimed at achieving, in this case, the Kremlin-Minsk tandem of its geopolitical goals."

According to him, a number of factors serve as proof of such an assessment, in particular, the constant increase in the number of refugees at the Belarusian-Polish border; purposeful escort of illegal immigrants by Belarusian border guards to sections of the state border with Poland with weak physical protection to facilitate their further penetration into the EU; active coverage of events with widespread use of narratives about the alleged cruel treatment of illegal migrants by Poles by television channels controlled by the Belarusian authorities.

"Russia is artificially organizing the migration crisis, in fact using Belarus to create a new point of destabilization of the security situation in Eastern Europe. These events are taking place against the background of the signing of agreements (28 union programs) on the further integration of the Russian Federation and Belarus within the framework of the Union State," Demchenko said.

He also said the migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border is one of the Kremlin's tools to induce the EU to negotiate with Russia to accelerate the launch of Nord Stream 2, reduce sanctions pressure on Russia, legalize the so-called LDNR, recognition of the annexed Crimea as Russian territory.

"In turn, the situation in which it is Russia that is the main ideologist and curator of the artificial aggravation of the migration crisis at the borders of the European Union creates additional threats for Ukraine. Despite the fact that today the possibility of Belarus opening a 'Ukrainian front' of the migration crisis does not look obvious from the outside, must be ready for it," Demchenko said.

Thus, according to the NSDC deputy secretary, "therefore, the state leadership is taking preventive measures both within Ukraine and in the direction of our interaction with international partners."

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