How migration became a weapon: the Belarus-Polish border crisis

What is coercive engineered migration? And what would be the best way for the EU to respond to Minsk’s tactics?

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In the recent months, the EU and especially Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, have all seen an increasing number of people trying to enter their countries from Belarus. An estimated 2,000 migrants are said to be stranded at the Belarus border with Poland at the moment. But how did we get here? Host Mark Leonard talks to ECFR policy fellow Pawel Zerka and visiting fellow Pavel Slunkin about the situation on the ground. Moreover, we asked Kelly Greenhill, 2020-21 Leverhulme Trust visiting professor at SOAS, to explain what coercive engineered migration is and how successful it is. Is Belarus’s president Alexander Lukashenka’s act of revenge for EU sanctions and criticism working? What would be the best way for the EU to respond to Minsk’s tactics?

This podcast was recorded on 10 November 2021.

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Cover image:
Polish border guards stand near the barbed wire as migrants from the Middle East and elsewhere gather at the Belarus-Poland border near Grodno, Belarus, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021
Image by picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS | Leonid Shcheglov
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