ASSESSMENTS

EU-Belarus Cooperation on the Border Is Unlikely to Yield Broader Rapprochement

MIN READNov 18, 2021 | 22:19 GMT

A deserted migrant camp is seen on the Belarus-Poland border in the Grodno region on Nov. 18, 2021.

A deserted migrant camp is seen on the Belarus-Poland border in the Grodno region on Nov. 18, 2021.

(LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

Germany’s recent outreach to Belarus may temporarily improve the migrant crisis at the latter’s borders, but simmering tensions with the European Union will likely ultimately push Minsk to resume its pressure tactics. On Nov. 15, German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a phone call with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to discuss the growing migrant crisis at the Belarus-Poland border, which European states have accused Minsk of orchestrating in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed after Lukashenko’s disputed electoral victory last year. That same day, EU foriegn ministers also approved the fifth package of sanctions targeting Belarussian entities implicated in the transit of migrants from the Middle East to the country. Merkel and Lukashenko then held another call on Nov. 17 in which Merkel stressed the need to allow the access of international organizations to provide humanitarian aid for the migrants. Lukashenko’s press office also claimed the two leaders “came to a certain...

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