Acting German Chancellor Merkel met with Polish Prime Minister Marowiecki in Berlin. The politicians did not rule out further sanctions against Minsk amid the “very tense situation” with migrants.
Acting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and chairman of the Polish Council of Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki discussed the “very tense situation” with migrants at the border of that country and Belarus. This was stated by Merkel during a joint press conference in Berlin on Thursday, November 25.
According to Merkel, she assured the Polish prime minister of Germany’s “full solidarity” and recalled the recent visit of acting German interior minister Horst Seehofer to Warsaw, where he had consultations with the Polish leadership about the situation in Belarus.
“We share the belief that the situation was caused by” Minsk “lured migrants to Belarus” as part of a “hybrid attack” and aimed to “destabilize and weaken not only Poland but the entire European Union,” said the acting head of the German government.
Merkel about her telephone conversations with Lukashenko
Merkel stressed that this is a problem affecting the European community as a whole, which must be solved in agreement. The German politician once again defended her two telephone conversations with the ruler of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. According to her, improvement of the humanitarian situation was in the focus of those conversations. It’s about treating migrants in Belarus with respect for “their human dignity and – if possible – to return them to their homeland,” said Merkel.
Germany and Poland do not rule out further sanctions against Minsk.
Berlin believes that if there is no progress in resolving the crisis, it will be necessary to consider further sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime. “We, as Europeans, must be united,” stressed Merkel. At the same time, the door for dialogue must remain open. “Sanctions are one thing, but on the other hand, one should always be ready for dialogue in order to solve problems through negotiations,” she said.
Merkel urged not to forget Russia’s role
Angela Merkel added that we should not forget Russia’s role in the current situation with migrants. “We know that Lukashenko and the president” of Russia Vladimir Putin have “very close relations,” she said, adding that she had discussed the situation with the Russian leader and believes that the Kremlin “should also be clear that people should not be abused” in achieving goals that have nothing to do with them.
Morawiecki reported on the intensification of dipulism in the Middle East
For his part, Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland stands guard over the EU’s external borders. “In this regard, we are also protecting Germany from a large influx of refugees, because Lukashenko has tried to test this border,” said the prime minister. According to him, Warsaw – with the support of acting German Chancellor and chairman of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen – is making diplomatic efforts in the Middle East to stop migrants from that region flying into Belarus.
Tensions on the EU’s external borders
There has been a growing flow of migrants from the Middle East into the European Union since May 2021. The situation is most difficult in Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania, where many migrants are trying to enter through Belarus.
The most difficult situation in November was on the Polish-Belarusian border. Thus, on November 8, several thousand migrants approached it, and since then they have made numerous attempts to cross the border. In an interview with BBC, Lukashenko admitted that Belarusians helped migrants to get into EU territory. He demanded that the migrants in Belarus be accepted by Germany.
On November 22nd Berlin stated that this was an issue to be solved at the EU level. The EU is preparing a fifth package of sanctions against the Belarusian regime and those responsible for bringing migrants from Middle Eastern countries to Minsk.