DISINFO: The West causes wars in the Middle East and then blames Belarus for the refugee crisis
The West causes wars in the Middle East and then blames Belarus for the ongoing refugee crisis. Belarus, which the West perceives as a thorn in its side, has become the target of even stronger pressure from the ‘innocent’ European Union. But the current migratory crisis is due to the Western policy towards countries in the Middle East and North Africa, where the West, including NATO and the EU, have tried for years to impose a ‘better life’ according to Western models. It seems that Europe is using the same and only programme when it comes to Belarus.
This disinformation narrative is an attempt to deflect all criticism for Belarus’ regime responsibility in the current migration crisis on the EU’s border. There is massive evidence showing that Belarusian authorities engineered the crisis artificially by creating a new migratory route in order to put pressure on the EU.
After the EU decided to impose fresh sanctions on Belarus due to the forced landing of Ryanair flight 4978, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenko threatened several times to allow migrants and drugs to pour into western Europe, in late May and again at the end of June 2021. Soon, a steady surge of irregular migrants was detected on Lithuanian borders, and then in Poland and Latvia as well.
Multiple investigations both by European officials and by media showed that those migrants were being brought to Belarus from Iraq, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates in commercial flights, a trip encouraged and supported by Belarusian authorities.
On 15 November 2021, the EU broadened the scope of previous sanctions to tackle hybrid attacks and instrumentalisation of migrants. The EU will now be able to target individuals and entities organising or contributing to activities by the Lukashenka regime that facilitate the illegal crossing of the EU's external borders. This came amid the growing instrumentalisation of migration by the Belarusian authorities.
See other examples of similar disinformation narratives, such as claims that Poland is set to fight migrants with tanks and is searching for an excuse to close in on Belarus, that the West is responsible for the migration crisis on EU-Belarus borders, or that the EU adopts sanctions on Belarus to manage its own internal contradictions.