Belarus authorities said they had cleared the main camps where migrants had huddled at the border with Poland on Thursday (November 18), in what appeared to be a major development in a crisis that has spiraled in recent weeks into an East-West confrontation.
Belarus state news agency Belta said the migrants sheltering in the forest had been brought to a warehouse in Belarus away from the frontier. A spokesperson for Polish border guards confirmed the camps had been cleared.
European countries have for months accused Belarus of having deliberately created the crisis by flying in migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to illegally cross its borders illegally into Poland and Lithuania.
Minsk, backed by Moscow, rejected those accusations in a stand-off that had left thousands of migrants trapped in freezing woods at the border.