Perspective on the border crisis between Poland and Belarus

   Recently, a large number of refugees from the Middle East have tried to enter EU countries such as Poland and Lithuania from Belarus, and eventually go to Western Europe. Countries such as Poland accused Belarus of planning this crisis in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by the EU against Belarus. Belarus stated that sanctions have prevented Belarus from controlling the inflow of immigrants. In response to the crisis, Poland and other countries have strengthened border control and strictly prevented illegal entry, resulting in a large number of refugees stranded at the border.
   At present, the crisis of “screening” has fallen into a stalemate, but the contradictions and conflicts that contributed to it are far from over. Strictly speaking, this crisis is not a typical refugee crisis, because there has been no large-scale war in the world, especially in the Middle East, and the raging new crown pneumonia epidemic has also restricted the flow of people. It can be said that behind this crisis is a complicated international political game.
   On the surface, the border crisis between Poland and Belarus is a dispute between Poland and Belarus. In fact, this crisis is the continuation of the geopolitical game between Russia and the West. After the end of the bipolar pattern, Europe witnessed the expansion of Western power and the contraction of Russian power. The double expansion of NATO and the European Union has reshaped the geopolitical structure of Europe. Members of the former Soviet Union joined NATO and the European Union one after another. The border between NATO and the European Union moved eastward, and Poland became the eastern border of NATO and the European Union.
   30 years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia and the West have not established a relationship of trust. The West missed the opportunity to promote the “democratization” of the former Soviet Union’s space states in an attempt to weaken Russia’s influence. NATO’s eastward expansion has further squeezed Russia’s strategic space, and the West and Russia have been arguing over European security institutions. The competition between the West and Russia for space in the former Soviet Union continues.
   Those trapped on the border between Poland and Belarus, whether immigrants or refugees, have become the real “victims” of this crisis. After a visit to the Bosnian-Belarusian border, Human Rights Commissioner Miatovic of the Council of Europe pointed out that the humanitarian and human rights situation here is “worrisome” and urgent action is needed to protect the lives of trapped persons.