Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer calls on the European Union to support the handling of the refugee influx. Germany and Poland could not solve the problem on their own. In the meantime, the situation is approaching a peak.
The dispute between Belarus and its neighboring countries over the border crossings by immigrants is significantly intensifying. On Monday, Poland accused the Belarusian leadership of preparing a „major provocation”. According to Foreign Minister Piotr Wurzyk, the government in Warsaw is preparing for the fact that the leadership in Minsk wants to allow masses of people into Poland.
„Belarus wants a major incident, according to media reports, with shooting and as many casualties as possible,” Warzyk said in statements to state radio.
Amid the tensions, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is demanding the support of EU countries. „We have to help the Polish government secure the external borders,” the CSU politician said in the newspaper „Bild” on Tuesday. All EU countries must now stand together, as Belarusian Governor Alexander Lukashenko tries to exploit the fate of refugees to „destabilize the West”.
German police officers exhibited
The Parliamentary Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Stefan Meyer (CSU), has offered the government in Warsaw the support of German police officers to secure the borders. „We are giving Poland all kinds of help to repel the attack on the border with Belarus,” Mayer told Bild newspaper. „Germany can also send police forces to Poland to support them very quickly if Poland wants to.”
The European Christian Social Union politician, Manfred Weber, called on the European Union to take a decisive stand. The European People’s Party (EPP) leader in the European Parliament told Bild newspaper (Tuesday): „The European message should be: Enough!” He spoke in favor of „tough sanctions” against the governor of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, and those around him.
The Parliamentary Group of the Federation in the Bundestag considers that the previous actions of the Federal Government against unauthorized entry through Belarus are correct, but not sufficient. In a request by the CDU/CSU, it was said that the federal government should call for a landing ban and other penalties against airlines that „carry immigrants on the basis of the visa exemption abusively granted by Belarus”.
Lithuania pledges aid to Poland
According to authorities in Belarus, hundreds of migrants made their way to the border with Poland on Monday. The photos showed how people in larger groups carried their belongings. A video distributed by the Polish government shows migrants trying to tear down the razor wire fence on the border in spades and a tree trunk. A Polish man in uniform used tear gas against the men.
Migrants at the border between Poland and Belarus: Belarusian border guards spoke of 2,000 migrants who wanted to cross the border. (Source: Leonid Shcheglov / BelTA / AP / dpa)
Lithuania also pledged its support to Poland. “We are ready to give our neighbors all the support they need to meet this challenge of illegal immigration,” President Gitanas Nosuda tweeted on Monday after a phone call with his Polish counterpart. Andre Duda. And Lithuania, which borders Belarus, is in „full solidarity” with Poland.
Meanwhile, Lithuania is intensifying its border measures. The army of the Baltic states of the European Union and NATO also put military units on duty at the borders on high alert.
NATO: Belarus uses refugees as a hybrid tactic
And the European Union Commission demanded, on Monday evening, the adoption of new sanctions against Belarus. „The exploitation of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. It called on member states to agree to extend sanctions against the Belarusian authorities.
NATO condemned the actions of the Belarusian leadership. With this „wave” of refugees, the rulers of Belarus have determined Alexander Lukashenko NATO member states Lithuania, Latvia and Poland are under targeted pressure. One NATO representative said it was „unacceptable how the Lukashenko regime uses refugees as a hybrid tactic”.
The border fence between Poland and Belarus: More and more migrants are heading to the European Union through Belarus. (Source: Viktor Tolochko / imago photos)
He warned Belarus against using refugees against the military coalition. The military alliance is ready to support allies and ensure security.
Organizations bring relief supplies
Activists from Germany sent a bus carrying relief items to the border area. The Seebrücke Deutschland and LeaveNoOneBehind bus initiatives started on Monday from Berlin. Organizers announced that he would bring relief supplies such as warm winter boots, socks, rescue blankets and headlights to Poland.
Migrants at the Belarusian border with Poland: Germany is one of their main destinations. (Source: Belta/Reuters)
The activists originally planned to return migrants and refugees from Poland to Germany on their way back. However, this is only possible with confirmation of acceptance from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the pier said. A similar request was addressed to the ministry on Thursday, but it has yet to be answered. „We expect confirmation of the entry” of the situation in the border area „one disaster,” he added.
Asylum for professionals requires admission
The human rights organization Pro Asyl also called for receiving and caring for refugees from Belarus in Poland. „Preserving the right to asylum, receiving refugees and ensuring their care, we agreed on that in international treaties, and this is our response to tyrants,” European pro-asylum spokesman Karl Cope said on Monday.
Cope warned that only if international law and EU law were adhered to, „the spiral of escalation can be stopped and human lives protected.”
Poland closes the border crossing
Due to the tense situation, the Polish government decided to close a border crossing. Border guards announced on Twitter on Monday that from Tuesday 7:00 am, cross-border traffic of goods and people will be suspended at the Koznica crossing. Travelers were asked to use the border crossings at Terespol and Bobrowniki.
The government in Warsaw and the European Union accuses Belarus Governor Alexander Lukashenko of transporting people from crisis regions in order to smuggle them into the European Union. In response to the sanctions against his country, he declared that he would no longer stop people on their way to a better life in the „comfortable West”. There have already been many migrant deaths in the border area.
The two European Union countries, Poland and Lithuania, have reported thousands of border crossings in the past few months. Germany is a major destination for immigrants.