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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland works with Lithuania, Latvia to guard EU border: PM

14.11.2021 08:00
Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Saturday held phone conversations with his Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts, saying afterwards that the three countries were together protecting the frontier of the European Union against a hybrid attack from Belarus.  
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

Morawiecki took to Twitter to announce his talks over the ongoing migrant crisis with Lithuania's head of government Ingrida Simonyte and Latvian PM Krisjanis Karins, the state PAP news agency reported. 

"We stand firm against the hybrid attacks of Lukashenko's regime," the Polish leader tweeted in English. "We work in close coordination to safeguard the EU borders and call for joint actions to stop Lukashenko’s aggression, media manipulation and fake news," he added.

In an interview with PAP on Sunday, Morawiecki said that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia may ask for consultations under article 4 of the NATO charter, which suggests the three countries believe their territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened. 

The PM called on the alliance to take "concrete steps" to solve the migrant crisis.

On Saturday, Poland's Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau discussed the situation on the Belarus frontier with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and France's top diplomat, Jean-Yves Le Drian. Rau also received a phonecall from the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported. 

It comes as the EU's foreign ministers are due to meet on Monday with a view to discussing new sanctions against Minsk, news agencies reported. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission (the bloc's executive) said the EU would agree on fresh measures with regard to Belarus next week. 

Meanwhile, the US President Joe Biden on Friday said that the situation on the Polish/Belarusian border was "of great concern."  

Border crisis continues

Since the spring, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have witnessed a sharp increase in the number of migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions, trying to cross illegally from Belarus, PAP reported.

The EU and its member states, as well as the United States and NATO, have accused Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the influx of immigrants, in retaliation for Western sanctions against his regime, news outlets reported.

According to the Polish government, some 2,000-4,000 migrants are currently camped on the Belarusian side of the borderland, regularly trying to force their way through the frontier. Belarusian forces are escorting them and staging provocations against Polish border patrols, Polish officials have said. 

Since September 2, Poland has kept its border zone under a state of emergency in the face of the migrant crisis.

(pm)

Source: PAP, IAR