Belarus, Poland, and refugees

SuperMatt

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Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, is responsible for a humanitarian crisis involving war refugees.

President Lukashenko greatly increased visas for refugees from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia to come to Belarus. However, he didn’t intend to let them stay. He rounded them up and forced them at gunpoint to cross over into Poland, in an attempt to destabilize the region.

Poland doesn’t want them to come over obviously, and they have resorted to some truly dirty attacks on the character of the refugees. In one instance, they claimed they found a SIM card in the woods with a video of a person having sex with a horse. It turns out the video was something created in the 1970s that has been circling the drain in the dirty corners of the internet for decades... so a complete fabrication.

One truly disgusting American connection to the story is the Breitbart coverage of this crisis. They definitely seem to be on the side of Lukashenko and the people making false accusations towards the refugees. They seized on the disgusting horse video, and when it was revealed where the video really originated, they attacked the fact checkers that discovered the information. So, remember - Breitbart supports autocrats around the globe. They should not be trusted.

Below are some images of the migrants trapped in this manufactured crisis, the work of an evil man - Alexander Lukashenko.

 
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ericwn

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This is all disgusting on so many levels. And of course it feeds the right wing trolls and idiots on each side of the border. Bet you mass murderer Putin is right there with Lukashenko to hold his hand.
 

Scepticalscribe

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While Mr Putin's sticky thumbprints - and those of the loathsome Mr Lukashenko - and Belarus is a country, a depressing dictatorship, that I know pretty well, I've observed close to half a dozen elections there, some at a fairly senior level, over the past twenty years - are both all over this, the role played by the current (deeply unattractive) Polish government (which would prefer not to be bound by EU rule of law and civil rights norms) cannot be discounted, either.
 

Ulenspiegel

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Well, what concerns Lukashenko and Belarus. He doesn't speak even the language of his own country, like the majority of the population. Only Russian. It says all.
I am sure that as an observer you experienced it as well, S. I did.

Poland is a sovereign country. And here comes the notorious dilemma of what should prevail: national or EU interests. Some countries tend to defend their freedom in many aspects within and against the will of the Union. Is it bad? No. Britain made its choice. Poland and the other V4 countries made their choice.

The above decisions can be considered black or white, but still they were/are autonomous.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Well, what concerns Lukashenko and Belarus. He doesn't speak even the language of his own country, like the majority of the population. Only Russian. It says all.
I am sure that as an observer you experienced it as well, S. I did.
Mr Lukashenko is - quite genuinely - a very nasty piece of work.

Actually, I recall, ironically and paradoxically, on one EOM (election observation mission) - I was there in a senior capacity - when two Russian observers reported to me, with appalled horror, of how an individual from the opposition with whom they had just spoken was hauled away in a car park, and beaten to a pulp by the police - there and then, in the car park, in front of their appalled, shocked and horrified eyes.

I remember wryly thinking at the time that it said something about the conditions of the political culture in Belarus when Russians (granted, educated, cosmopolitan, cultured, Russians) were clearly appalled by the degree and extent of the political repression in that country.

Poland is a sovereign country. And here comes the notorious dilemma of what should prevail: national or EU interests. Some countries tend to defend their freedom in many aspects within and against the will of the Union. Is it bad? No. Britain made its choice. Poland and the other V4 countries made their choice.

The above decisions can be considered black or white, but still they were/are autonomous.
There are certain specific areas - set out in the EU Treaties and ratified by domestic parliaments - where EU law has primacy over domestic law (something that countries that join the EU automatically accept, and something which Poland currently seeks to overturn, as its recent Supreme Court judgment would seem to suggest).

While both Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko (and the latter has been effortlessly double-crossing both Russia and the west for nearly thirty years) are playing a cynical, duplicitous, and occasionally, deeply malevolent role, I do not - at all - trust the current Polish government to uphold European standards on human rights, civil rights and the rule of law, unless they are compelled (by the EU) to do so.

Not when they apply to others (such as immigrants, migrants, or refugees).
 
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SuperMatt

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Mr Lukashenko is - quite genuinely - a very nasty piece of work.

Actually, I recall, ironically and paradoxically, on one EOM (election observation mission) - I was there in a senior capacity - two Russian observers, reporting to me, with appalled horror, of how an individual from the opposition with whom they had just spoken was hauled away in a car park, and beaten to a pulp (in front of their appalled, shocked and horrified eyes).

I remember wryly thinking that it said something about the conditions of political culture in Belarus when Russians (granted, educated cosmopolitan, cultured Russians) were appalled by the degree and extent of the political repression in the country.


There are certain specific areas - set out in the EU Treaties and ratified by domestic parliaments - where EU law has primacy over domestic law (something that countries that join the EU automatically accept, and something which Poland currently seeks to overturn, as its recent Supreme Court judgment would seem to suggest).

While both Mr Putin and Mr Lukashenko (and the latter has been effortlessly double-crossing both Russia and the west for narly thirty years) are playing a cynical, duplicitous, and occasionally, deeply malevolent role, I do not - at all - trust the current Polish government to uphold European standards on human rights, civil rights and the rule of law, unless they are compelled (by the EU) to do so.

Not when they apply to others (such as immigrants, migrants, or refugees).
Lukashenko is very aware of the attitude of the Polish people when it comes to refugees. That’s his reason for doing this. Stir things up, maybe get an autocrat in power in Poland… now he has a friend in the region.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Lukashenko is very aware of the attitude of the Polish people when it comes to refugees. That’s his reason for doing this. Stir things up, maybe get an autocrat in power in Poland… now he has a friend in the region.
Oh, I am in complete agreement with you.

I am simply commenting because in much of the coverage, while I have read of criticism (rightly) of both Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, Poland tends to get a soft ride from much of the western media.
 

Ulenspiegel

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We are talking about a very specific question. There is no primacy of EU law or regulation over a national referendum in a specific question of the given member-state.
 

ericwn

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According to the precedence principle EU law is superior to national laws, isn’t it? So whatever rules and regulations the EU has in place are to be applied.
 

Ulenspiegel

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Not in specific cases when the national will, i.e. national referendum decides otherwise.
 

Scepticalscribe

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According to the precedence principle EU law is superior to national laws, isn’t it? So whatever rules and regulations the EU has in place are to be applied.

Not in specific cases when the national will, i.e. national referendum decides otherwise.
EU law takes precedence over national law only in the specific areas where such legal authority, or power, has been ceded (in negotiation, subsequently ratified by national parliaments, or sometimes, by referenda) by national authorities to EU law, which is codified in the various, respective, EU Treaties.

Elsewhere, - that is, everywhere else that does not fall under the competence of the respective EU treaties, - national law prevails.

Moreover, individual countries can - and have done so - negotiate specific opt-outs (re certain specific provisions of EU Treaties), which means that those particular provisions of the relevant, respective, EU Treaties do not apply to - or are not applied in - that particular country.
 
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ericwn

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EU law takes precedence over national law only in the specific areas where such power has been ceded (in negotiation, subsequently ratified by national parliaments, or sometimes, by referenda) by national authorities to EU law.

Elsewhere, - that is, everywhere else that does not fall under the competence of the respective EU treaties, - national law prevails.

Moreover, individual countries can - and have done so - negotiate specific opt-outs (re certain provisions of EU Treaties), which means that those particular provisions of the EU Treaties do not apply to that country.

In any case Poland has a history now of not adhering to EU law in some aspects and weren’t they ordered by an EU court to some daily fines until they get back on track.

Either way, countries like Poland and Italy who have such a big Christian background or at least claim to have, do surprisingly little when refugees are in need it seems.
 

Ulenspiegel

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Eric, I understand your sentiment and logic.

Nevertheless the picture is more complex, starting with the controversial nature of the latest trends in worldwide migration. A refugee and a misplaced person is not an economic migrant. It is clearly laid out by the international organizations working in this field, i.e. UN as a whole, UNHCR and IOM as specialized agencies.
 

ericwn

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Eric, I understand your sentiment and logic.

Nevertheless the picture is more complex, starting with the controversial nature of the latest trends in worldwide migration. A refugee and a misplaced person is not an economic migrant. It is clearly laid out by the international organizations working in this field, i.e. UN as a whole, UNHCR and IOM as specialized agencies.

My apologies I’m not out there to declare who is a refugee and who is a migrant. I’m pointing solely at the ridiculous situation these two countries leave the people in so that their right wing conservative governments can do their thing while celebrating a double standard when in reality they should turn the other cheek even if a few days later those migrants get flown back.
 
U

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Well, what concerns Lukashenko and Belarus. He doesn't speak even the language of his own country, like the majority of the population. Only Russian. It says all.
I am sure that as an observer you experienced it as well, S. I did.

Poland is a sovereign country. And here comes the notorious dilemma of what should prevail: national or EU interests. Some countries tend to defend their freedom in many aspects within and against the will of the Union. Is it bad? No. Britain made its choice. Poland and the other V4 countries made their choice.

The above decisions can be considered black or white, but still they were/are autonomous.
You know you should be concerned about the V4 when one Minister of Foreign Affairs of one of those recently gets an award fro Putin for greatly improving the relationships between the two countries...

One truly disgusting American connection to the story is the Breitbart coverage of this crisis. They definitely seem to be on the side of Lukashenko and the people making false accusations towards the refugees. They seized on the disgusting horse video, and when it was revealed where the video really originated, they attacked the fact checkers that discovered the information. So, remember - Breitbart supports autocrats around the globe. They should not be trusted.
Not sure how much you've followed Bannon's Eastern European activity, but he has been a paid consultant in the region, and the Breitbart coverage is likely influenced by this too.
 

Ulenspiegel

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You know you should be concerned not being familiar with the practices, modus operandi of diplomacy.

It may come in handy:
71xEoZOB-1L.jpg
 

Ulenspiegel

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My apologies I’m not out there to declare who is a refugee and who is a migrant. I’m pointing solely at the ridiculous situation these two countries leave the people in so that their right wing conservative governments can do their thing while celebrating a double standard when in reality they should turn the other cheek even if a few days later those migrants get flown back.
I see your point, Eric.

As I tried to point out the core of the problem is the difference between a refugee and an economic migrant. Absolutely two different categories.
 

ericwn

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You know you should be concerned not being familiar with the practices, modus operandi of diplomacy.

It may come in handy:
71xEoZOB-1L.jpg

Is that the very same guy who worked on removing the democratically elected (Bush junior would have loved that…) president of Chile?
 

Ulenspiegel

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Yes, he is the guy who was awarded the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.

Yes, he is the guy whose Realpolitik is taught in most prestigious Universities around the world from МГИМО through Oxford to Harvard.

And yes, he is the guy who had a role in encouraging the CIA to organize a military coup against Salvador Allende.
A disgrace in his career.
 
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