PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the West of using the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border to apply more pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Addressing the collegium of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Putin said that Poland and other Western countries forgot their humanitarian obligations while Polish law enforcement officers used water cannons and grenades against migrants.
"The first thing that comes to my mind: I just feel sorry for children," Putin said.
European countries accuse Belarus of flying in thousands of migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to cross the frontier illegally. Belarus denies fomenting the crisis.
The EU has called on Russia to make Lukashenko end the crisis. Moscow denies any direct role but has offered to mediate, while also demonstrating support for Lukashenko by staging military exercises jointly with Belarus near the border.
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