Boris Govt Vows to Fortify Border Against Illegal Migrants… to Ukraine

migrants
CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The British government has promised to help Ukraine fortify its Belarusian frontier amid worries Alexander Lukashenko could redirect illegal migrants from Poland and the Baltic States to the Ukrainian border.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Ministry of Affairs said in a press release that the British government had “reaffirmed its readiness to assist the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in strengthening borders and combating illegal migration”.

Ukraine borders both Poland and Russia-allied Belarus so it is not unreasonable for Ukraine to have concerns that Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko may turn his sights from Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia to Ukraine following the largely unsuccessful Belarusian-sponsored border crisis inflicted on the three EU member-states.

Ukraine has an EU Association Agreement but is not an EU member, however migrants could swing through Ukrainian territory and on into Slovakia to penetrate the bloc.

This potential threat from Belarus coincides with the build-up of tens of thousands of Russian soldiers near the Russo-Ukrainian border, with some leaders alleging that Russia’s Vladimir Putin may be planning to invade Ukraine in 2022.

Russia is also accused of helping to manufacture the migrant border crisis in Poland, with Brussels claiming that Putin is encouraging Lukashenko to continue forcing migrants to the Polish border as a way of retaliating against EU sanctions on Belarus.

Russia has denied that the increased presence of their soldiers near the Ukrainian border is for future military action, and accused Joe Biden’s America and NATO of being the ones stoking tension by selling arms to Ukraine and making large-scale military deployments in the Black Sea.

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged support to Poland and Ukraine to help them address their migrant crises, which includes sending 150 British soldiers to Poland to help reinforce its border, he has neglected to to adopt a similarly robust posture towards Britain’s own migrant crisis in the English Channel.

Tens of thousands of migrants have made illegal crossings to Britain this year. The true total is hard to calculate as it is unknown how many have many successfully evade the authorities, beyond those who are met at sea or on landing.

The UK Border Force, for its part, is increasingly showing a reluctance to tackle illegal immigration, with the outgoing director-general of the force stating in a departing speech that borders are “just such a pain in the bloody ass.”

The Channel crisis is becoming an increasing concern for the British people, with Brexit leader Nigel Farage describing it as the “number one issue” in the mind of British voters.

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