Belarus to expel three Polish diplomats, MFA says
Belarus is expelling three Polish diplomats after Poland closed one of its two truck border crossings with the country, a spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry has confirmed.
Earlier this month, Poland shut down a key border crossing into Belarus at Bobrowniki, in the north-east of the country, after Andrzej Poczobut, a Polish-Belarusian activist and journalist, was sentenced to eight years in a penal colony for "instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism."
Łukasz Jasina, spokesman for the Polish Foreign Ministry told PAP on Monday that "By Wednesday evening, the liaison officer of the Polish border guard will leave Belarus; two employees of the Polish consulate in Grodno will probably also be expelled."
The Polish consulate in Grodno is still operating, Jasina added.
Last Friday, the Belarusian foreign ministry announced the expulsion of a Polish border guard liaison officer as well as restrictions on Polish hauliers as retaliatory steps for Poland's closure of the Bobrowniki crossing.
Under the new regulations, Polish hauliers will be able to enter Belarus only across the Polish-Belarusian border. That means Polish truckers will not be able to cross into Belarus from Lithuania or Latvia.
Bobrowniki was one of only two border crossings on the Polish-Belarusian border that had remained available to trucks.
Also on Monday, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński decided to limit Belarusian cargo traffic at another border crossing in Kukuryki-Kozłowicze from Tuesday evening.
Earlier, Poland closed two other crossings with Belarus in the wake of the 2021 migration crisis when thousands of people tried to get into Poland from Belarus after the Belarusian strongman, Alexander Lukashenko, invited migrants from the Middle East and Africa to his country under a false promise of easy access to the EU.