The border between Poland and Belarus is known as Belarussia or “White Russia.” Belarus recently announced that 9,000 Russian troops, 170 tanks, and 100 artillery pieces will be placed on this border with Poland.

Relations between Poland and Belarus have been strained for years as thousands of Iraqi migrants trying to get into Western Europe were in camps in Belarus while they attempted to cross into Poland.  Belarus did not offer them settlement in its country but allowed to them to stay in camps while they tried to get into other European countries, often crossing illegally without entry visas.  Poland responded by building a wall along the border to prevent this wave of illegal immigration and declared an emergency on the border which was lifted only recently.

In October the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw advised any Poles living in Belarus to leave the country immediately.  This was followed by accusations that Belarus was searching the homes of Poles living there, releasing this statement on November 15th,

Poland received with concern the information about searches of residential premises occupied by members of the Union of Poles in Belarus. We condemn the repressions against the community in Belarus and call on the Lukashenko regime to stop actions violating international law.”