Lukashenko visits migrants on Belarus border

In his first public appearance at the border since the start of the crisis, Lukashenko visited a facility providing migrants with food and spoke to Red Cross workers at the camp, the Belta state news agency reported.

The European Union has accused Belarus of flying in thousands of people from the Middle East and pushing them to cross into the bloc in retaliation for EU sanctions imposed over Lukashenko's crushing of protests against his disputed re-election last year. Belarus denies this.

Lukashenko said Belarus would not catch and detain migrants at the border to prevent them from crossing into the EU.

Poland's border guard service has said that Belarusian authorities have been actively assisting migrants to try to cross their shared border.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who helped Lukashenko ride out mass street protests after last year's election, has also backed Belarus in its most recent standoff with the EU.

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