There are frightening and shocking scenes that take place on Poland’s borders with Belarus: crowds of people gather in front of the border fences, which are already in the shade of any high-security prison, and urge people to enter. The potential for escalation is high and the Polish government is on high alert. Poland’s Foreign Secretary Piotr Wawrzyk is convinced that this is by no means a coincidence ”, Said Wawryzk on the state radio – and the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also finds haunting words on the situation. In an interview with “Bild” Seehofer called for support from the EU in dealing with the flow of refugees, because it is now clear: Germany and Poland alone cannot solve the problem.
“We have to help the Polish government secure the external border. That would actually be the job of the EU Commission. I now appeal to them to take action, ”said the CSU politician in an interview with“ Bild ”. And he went even further: All EU states must now stand together, since Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is trying to use the fate of the refugees “to destabilize the West”.
As is well known, Germany has already offered the government in Warsaw the support of German police officers to secure the border, now other EU countries are to follow – also in order to set a clear common European signal. CSU European politician Manfred Weber, also in relation to “Bild”, calls for the European Union to take a decisive stance in this context: “The European message must be: It’s enough!”. He spoke out in favor of “tightened sanctions” against the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko and those around him. And the EU countries are reacting: Poland’s neighbor Lithuania has already assured Poland “all the support it needs” and is also strengthening its own border guards. In Austria, too, discussions about the best possible assistance are already in full swing.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission demanded on Monday evening that new sanctions be adopted against Belarus. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “The instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable.” She called on the member states to approve extended sanctions against the Belarusian authorities.
NATO is also harshly criticizing the actions of the Russian leadership: A representative of the military alliance declares that Alexander Lukashenko is putting pressure on the NATO member states Poland, Latvia and Lithuania with this “wave” of refugees. It is “unacceptable how the Lukashenko regime uses refugees as a hybrid tactic,” said the NATO spokesman.
The “catastrophic” situation at the border moved the Polish government to close a border crossing. At 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, border traffic for goods and people at the Kuznica crossing will cease, the border guard announced on Monday via Twitter. Travelers were asked to use the border crossings in Terespol and Bobrowniki.
The government in Warsaw and the EU accuse Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko of having people flown in from crisis regions in order to smuggle them into the EU. In response to sanctions against his country, he had declared that he would no longer stop people on their way to a better life in the “cozy West”. There have already been several migrant deaths in the border region.