"We condemn the orchestrated instrumentalisation of human beings whose lives and wellbeing have been put in danger for political purposes by Belarus, with the objective of destabilizing neighboring countries and the European Union's external border and diverting attention away from its own increasing human rights violations," they said in a statement on Thursday.
They added: "Together, we express our solidarity with Poland and Lithuania and stand ready to discuss further measures that we can take to support them ... We will remain united and determined to protect the EU against these hybrid operations by Belarusian authorities.”
The statement was adopted after Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United States and Britain raised the migrant crisis during a closed-door meeting of the 15-member body, the Reuters news agency reported.
The statement described the Belarusian approach as "unacceptable," and accused the country's strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko of becoming a threat to regional stability.
It called for a "strong international reaction" to hold Belarus accountable, pledging "to discuss further measures" against the authorities in Minsk.
The EU says Belarus is encouraging thousands fleeing war-torn parts of the world to try to cross into Poland and other neighboring countries to retaliate for EU sanctions, Reuters reported.
Belarus has warned the crisis could escalate into a military confrontation, while Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia said Belarus posed a serious threat to European security, according to Reuters.
Source: PAP, Reuters