Under the new proposal by the EU Commission, the migrants would be permitted to claim asylum only at designated locations, such as border crossings.

Border tensions have eased in recent weeks since Minsk moved migrants back from the frontier.
Border tensions have eased in recent weeks since Minsk moved migrants back from the frontier. (AP)

The European Union has proposed curtailing some rights of migrants at its borders with Belarus, including letting asylum seekers being held at border camps for up to four months and allowing for faster deportations.

The situation at the Belarus borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia is "unprecedented and that's why we are doing all these measures", Ylva Johansson, EU home affairs commissioner, told reporters on Wednesday.

The new proposals are the latest EU attempt to deal with what it describes as a crisis manufactured by Minsk. 

It accuses Belarus of flying in migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to cross through the woods into Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Belarus calls the accusations absurd. 

Rights groups say at least 13 people have died as thousands of migrants have camped in freezing conditions.

READ MORE: EU, NATO vow action against threats posed by Belarus, Russia

Tightening immigration rules

Under the proposal by the Commission, the EU's executive arm, migrants would be permitted to claim asylum only at designated locations, such as border crossings. 

National authorities would have a longer period of up to four weeks to register asylum applications.

Asylum seekers could be kept for up to 16 weeks at the border, losing a standing right to be held in more suitable centres inside the country.

The proposals are a further example of the EU tightening immigration rules since more than 1 million people arrived in 2015, overwhelming the bloc and dividing member states over how to respond.

READ MORE: HRW: Belarus, Poland committed serious human rights violations at border

READ MORE: EU to widen sanctions against Belarus

Source: TRTWorld and agencies