Poland to discuss Belarus migrant crisis with other European nations

Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki says the border crisis with Belarus is a “very serious geopolitical situation” ahead of his meetings with the leaders of other European countries.

Poland is pushing migrants back, saying it is protecting the border for all of Europe. It has received support from the EU, NATO and the US.

Poland has announced plans to hold a series of talks around Europe about the pressure of migrants on the European Union’s border with Belarus, a crisis that he expects will continue.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he was meeting on Sunday with his counterparts from EU members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which have also been hit by the migrant pressure from Belarus.

“This is why I set out on a journey to some European countries, to talk about the international crisis provoked by the actions of (Belarusian President) Alexander Lukashenko,” Morawiecki said on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, there are numerous signs suggesting that this geopolitical crisis will be continued for many months, even years.”

He said on Facebook that the border crisis with Belarus is a “very serious geopolitical situation” and requires a lot of diplomatic effort, as many migrants from the Mideast still remain in Belarus and keep trying to force their way into EU member Poland.

On Friday night, some migrants threw stones and used tear gas against Polish border guards and police, according to Poland’s Border Guard.

Migrants crisis “artificial”

The EU has accused Lukashenko of using the migrants as pawns to destabilise the bloc in retaliation for its sanctions on his authoritarian regime.

Belarus denies engineering the crisis.

A few migrants have died in the damp forests straddling the border. Others have abandoned hopes of reaching Europe and were flown back to their home countries this week.

Humanitarian organisations and Poland’s influential Roman Catholic Church have been pressing to be allowed to bring aid to the stranded migrants, and NGOs in Poland have organised charity collections.

A few hundred people with banners and gold-and-silver hypothermia blankets marched Saturday in Warsaw in support of the migrants. Their banners read “We Welcome the Refugees, NO to Racism,” and “Enough of Cruelty, Accept the Refugees.”

“This is an act of solidarity with people stuck for weeks in the deadly trap between Poland and Belarus,” the organisers said.

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