President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus, whom the E.U. accuses of engineering a migrant crisis on the border with Poland, could face a serious headache if asylum seekers try to stay in his country.

But as the New York Times reports, a threat President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko has never before had to contend with is now taking shape in a squalid migrant encampment along his country’s border with Poland. Having helped funnel desperate migrants to Europe’s doorstep, Mr. Lukashenko suddenly has to deal with people like Bale Nisu, a 21-year-old Kurd from Iraq who has taken a liking to Belarus, and would like to settle here.

Many of the more than 2,000 people marooned on the Belarusian side of the razor wire at Bruzgi, a large, shuttered border crossing, insist they won’t give up on trying to get into the European Union. But growing fears that they might instead get sent back to their home countries has made Mr. Nisu and others wonder whether staying put in Belarus could be their best option.

“I want to go to Germany, but if that is impossible, I’ll just stay here,” Mr. Nisu said Wednesday after moving into a big warehouse near the border that has been converted into a migrant holding center by the Belarusian authorities in an effort to release pressure on the border — and burnish the country’s often grim image.

Continue reading

© Copyright LaPresse