Polish PM calls for ‘concrete steps’ from NATO amid Belarus border crisis

Polish troopers and police watch migrants on the Poland/Belarus border close to Kuznica, Poland, on this {photograph} launched by the Territorial Defence Forces, November 12, 2021. Irek Dorozanski/DWOT/Handout through REUTERS

HAJNOWKA, Poland, Nov 14 (Reuters) – NATO should take “concrete steps” to resolve the migrant disaster on the Belarus border, the Polish prime minister was quoted as saying on Sunday, including that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia could ask for consultations underneath Article 4 of the alliance’s treaty.

Beneath Article 4, any ally can request consultations each time, within the opinion of any of them, their territorial integrity, political independence or safety is threatened.

“It’s not sufficient only for us to publicly specific our concern – now we want concrete steps and the dedication of your entire alliance,” Mateusz Morawiecki instructed Polish state-run information company PAP.

1000’s of migrants have travelled to Belarus within the hope of crossing into the European Union (EU), solely to seek out themselves trapped on the border in freezing situations.

The EU accuses Minsk of orchestrating the disaster to place strain on the bloc over sanctions, however Belarus has repeatedly denied this. Some countries within the area have warned the stand-off might escalate right into a navy battle.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key backer of Belarus chief Alexander Lukashenko, mentioned that Russia was prepared to assist resolve the disaster, RIA information company reported on Sunday, citing an interview on a state TV channel. read more

Morawiecki instructed PAP that EU leaders would talk about additional sanctions in opposition to Belarus, together with fully closing the border.

EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell was quoted as saying that the bloc will widen sanctions on Belarus on Monday to incorporate airways and journey businesses regarded as concerned in transporting migrants.

Morawiecki mentioned that the EU ought to collectively finance a border wall.


In the meantime, Polish forces described an more and more tense state of affairs on the frontier, with the Border Guard saying migrants had been receiving directions and gear from Belarusian guards and it anticipated one other “huge try” to interrupt by means of.

“Large logs of wooden are being introduced in, in all probability to decrease the fence,” Border Guard spokeswoman Katarzyna Zdanowicz instructed personal broadcaster TVN24.

Belarusian running a blog service NEXTA shared a video of what it mentioned was a big column of migrants strolling in direction of the frontier.

Footage posted on Twitter by the Polish Inside Ministry confirmed what seemed to be a water cannon deployed on the border, as a recorded message warned migrants that power might be used in opposition to them if they didn’t comply with orders.

NGO Grupa Granica mentioned in a press release it had acquired details about makes an attempt by Belarus to power migrants to make use of violence in opposition to Polish officers.

“Because of the danger of escalation of violence we wish to remind all events that migrants will not be aggressors however hostages of Lukashenko’s regime,” it wrote.

The Belarusian State Border Guard Committee spokesperson Anton Bychkovsky mentioned the accusations had been disinformation. “It doesn’t correspond with the fact,” he mentioned

On Saturday, a gaggle of about 50 migrants broke by means of defences on the border and entered Poland close to the village of Starzyna, police mentioned on Sunday. The Border Guard instructed PAP they had been all caught.
($1 = 4.0476 zlotys)

Reporting by Joanna Plucinska in Hajnowka, Alan Charlish and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk in Warsaw, Maria Tsvetkova in Moscow; Writing by Alan Charlish; Modifying by Elaine Hardcastle and Alex Richardson

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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