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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish PM warns of fake news, hacker attacks by Belarus, Russia

22.11.2021 09:00
Amid a migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, Poland's prime minister has warned that his country's eastern neighbours Belarus and Russia have been using fake news and hacker attacks as a weapon in international relations.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (L) and his Latvian counterpart Krisjanis Karins (R), meet in Riga on Sunday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (L) and his Latvian counterpart Krisjanis Karins (R), meet in Riga on Sunday. PAP/EPA Toms Kalnins

Mateusz Morawiecki's words came as he visited Latvia on Sunday to discuss the border crisis and wider geopolitical threats, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Speaking to reporters alongside his counterpart Krišjānis Kariņš in the Latvian capital Riga, Morawiecki said that "the Russians, just like the Soviet Union before them, are masters of disinformation."

"Today, we are witnessing a heightened disinformation attack on Western capitals, where sadly people are not as familiar with such methods as those living in Riga or Warsaw," he added.

"This propaganda is being used as a weapon against the Baltic states and Poland, in various ways," Morawiecki also said, urging his country's Western partners "to combat fake news, hacker attacks and cyber crime, which are used so often by the Kremlin, by Belarusian and Russian hackers, as a weapon on the international stage."

'Risk of various attacks' against NATO, EU

Morawiecki told reporters that Moscow was engaging in "anti-vaccine propaganda" across Europe, "especially in Poland" and was also poised to take advantage of high prices of gas and other raw materials.

Moreover, "we see that the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, is trying to attract migrants from Afghanistan," and so, all these factors point to "a risk of various attacks against the eastern flank of NATO and the European Union," he warned.

Collective response

"Our view, together with our Baltic partners, is that only the repatriation of migrants" from the EU border, "only efforts to de-escalate the situation can restore any constructive scenario with Lukashenko," Morawiecki also said.

He argued that Russia and Belarus were pursuing "a policy of blackmail over energy, over migration, in political terms," yet "our collective response can dispel the dark clouds gathering over our heads."

Earlier on Sunday, Morawiecki visited Lithuania and Estonia as the migrant crisis on Poland's border with Belarus persisted.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP