An ongoing geopolitical crisis between Poland and Belarus has seen the EU prepare further sanctions against Minsk which the bloc accuses of attempting to destabilise the EU by pushing migrants across the border illegally.
Footage shared by a Polish government spokesperson and the Ministry of Defence showed a further escalation of the crisis at the border today, where migrants have assembled in growing numbers on the Belarusian side in the last week.
The EU says Belarus is encouraging migrants to cross the border in revenge for earlier sanctions over a crackdown on protests last year against President Alexander Lukashenko’s contested re-election.
The Polish government is working to build a wall on the border with Belarus but has so far refused physical help from the EU to deescalate the situation and assist migrants.
The EU Commission has offered to pay for two percent of the cost of the wall.
In exchange, Poland would have to change its laws allowing for pushbacks of migrants.
Warsaw would also have to allow Frontex, the EU’s border agency, to process asylum seekers on Polish territory.
But the Polish government is refusing to budge to Brussels’ demands, despite the lucrative cash incentive.
Poland’s government spokesperson said the government was discussing whether to launch formal consultations on the crisis with NATO allies.
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“We have a hybrid war, but an actual war, with arms, is not on our horizon. We are facing an unpredictable enemy,” Kaczynski told Polish public radio.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he was deeply concerned about how Belarus was putting the lives of vulnerable migrants at risk.
Belarus, a close Russian ally, said assertions it had fuelled the border crisis were “absurd”. Lukashenko had a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to discuss the crisis, Belarusian news agency BELTA reported.
Polish authorities said they were informed about a phone call on Monday between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Lukashenko, when they discussed aid to migrants on the Poland-Belarus border.