Ukraine is sending 8,500 troops and police to the border with Belarus

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LAST UPDATE 15:20

Ukraine will send another 8,500 troops and police as well as 15 helicopters to guard the border with Belarus to thwart possible attempts by migrants to cross them, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

The European Union has accused Belarus of encouraging migrants to come to its territory and then pushing thousands to cross into Poland and other neighboring EU countries in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Minsk.

Although not a member of the EU, Ukraine is reluctant to take another front in the immigration crisis.

Interior Minister Dennis Monastirski said the new force would include 3,000 border guards, 3,500 National Guard soldiers and 2,000 police officers.

“Aviation (from) the interior ministry will also be on duty, namely 15 helicopters, which will ensure mobility and, if necessary, transfer our forces to the border,” he said.

Monastirsky said earlier on Thursday that Ukrainian border guards, police and the National Guard would conduct exercises on the border with Belarus.

“In order to deal with the possible crisis with the immigrants, we will involve all five structures of the Ministry of Interior without exception,” the minister was quoted as saying in the statement.

Monastirsky said the latest steps would prevent migrants from entering Ukraine, but that the former Soviet republic would have to radically re-equip its borders with neighboring Russia and Belarus to avoid similar problems in the future.

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Source From: Capital

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