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The Explainer: What is the stand-off at the Belarus-Poland border about?

Thousands of migrants are travelling to the border, with some deaths reported in recent weeks. We explain what’s behind it.

POLAND AND BELARUS have been locked in weeks of wrangling over a large number of migrants travelling from countries like Iraq and Syria to the Belarus border, and attempting to cross to Poland.

The situation has led to a number of deaths, with huge criticism from the EU of Belarus, which the bloc believes has encouraged and even facilitated people to travel to its country.

The EU and the United States have vowed to press ahead with sanctions targeting the regime of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko over the issue. 

On this week’s podcast, we speak to Donnacha Ó Beacháin, Professor of Politics at the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University (DCU) where he lectures on post-Soviet politics.

He talks to us about Lukashenko’s role in this situation, and what he hopes to get out of it. He also explains the political background, and how things might look in the future. 

If you weren’t sure what countries border Belarus, here’s a map: 

This is a complicated and ongoing issue - here's some of The Journal's recent reporting so you can get further up to speed:

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O'Carroll, and producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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