Belarus denies aggravating migrant situation at Polish border

Polish border guard officers patrol at the Kuznica-Bruzgi checkpoint on the Polish-Belarusian border amid the migrant crisis, in Kuznica, Poland, December 6, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

KYIV (Reuters) - Belarus on Tuesday said its security services did not aggravate the migrant situation at the border by throwing firecrackers or taking other actions as Poland claimed the previous day.

The Belarus State Border Committee rejected the allegation by Polish Border Guard Captain Krystyna Jakimik-Jarosz and accused the Polish government of avoiding scrutiny of its own activities.

"Poland deliberately spreads fake information in order to hide from the public the real picture of the events taking place on the border," the spokesman for the border committee Anton Bychkovsky said in a statement to Reuters.

Poland's government maintains all of the allegations it has presented against the Belarusian authorities, special services spokesperson Stanislaw Zaryn told Reuters.

Thousands of people mostly from the Middle East have crossed the Polish border from Belarus since the summer, with the European Union accusing Minsk of flying them in and pushing them to cross into the bloc via neighbouring Poland.

International organisations have said Poland was breaching humanitarian standards in forcing some migrants back into Belarus, a charge the Warsaw government denies.

On Monday, there were 116 attempts to cross the border. By contrast, on Nov. 17, 501 attempts were reported.

(Reporting by Kacper Pempel; additional reporting by Matthias Williams and Natalia Zinets and Joanna Plucinska in Warsaw; Writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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