Almost a year ago, the migrant crisis sparked a conflict between Poland and Belarus, as thousands tried to cross to Poland and were stuck on the Belarusian side of the border. Soldiers were deployed on both sides, raising fears of an escalation.
At the time, Poland and other member states of the European Union accused Belarus of encouraging illegal immigrants from the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Africa to cross the borders to the European Union in response to the sanctions imposed on it. But Belarus denied these accusations, and Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei accused the West of fabricating the migration crisis on the Polish border to impose new sanctions on Minsk. The European Union had earlier promised to impose more sanctions on Belarus and accused the government of President Alexander Lukashenko of using migrants as political hostages, endangering their lives in what was described as gangster-style behavior.
Now amid the Ukraine-Russia crisis, an increasing number of Ukrainian refugees are fleeing to the borders of neighboring European countries to escape the war in Ukraine, which is entering its second month.
Poland is now close to receiving two million refugees, as many reception centers far from the border have been filled. From Poland to Hungary to Germany and from there to Europe, stranded waves of Ukrainian refugees cross the old continent.
Many observers believe that European countries will suffer from difficulties and crises in terms of organizing presence and managing refugee affairs in the future, especially since Europe has been suffering for years from migration flows that have increased to an unprecedented extent since 2011. Observers consider that European countries were forced to take quick action Measures related to Ukrainian refugees with the onset of the crisis and its rapid deterioration.
In a related context, the United Nations also warned of the crisis of displaced persons inside Ukraine, and they did not leave the borders, as at least 160,000 people fled the war in Ukraine and were displaced within their country. The European Union believes that this div could rise to 7 million and that 18 million Ukrainians will be affected by the war.
With the increase in the number of immigrants and refugees, the Ukraine crisis will be likely to escalate and expand to the north and perhaps to the west, and its repercussions will have a catastrophic impact on the security and stability of the European Union as a whole.
Dr. Hatem Sadek: Professor at Helwan University
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