EC aid for border crisis countries possible, EU commissioner says

The European Commission may channel EUR 200 million in aid to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to help them cope with a migrant crisis on their borders with Belarus.

The tentative offer was made by Ylva Johansson, the EU Commissioner for home affairs, during a telephone conversation on Thursday with Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish interior minister.

In a statement on the talks, the Polish Interior Ministry said Johansson told Kaminski that the multi-million euro aid tranche for the three countries was a realistic possibility, and would be mainly designated for border protection.

She also backed Poland's appeals for stricter EU measures against the government of Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, which has been accused of instigating the border crisis.

Poland has been struggling to stem a wave of migrants from the Belarusian side of the border for several months now. However, in recent days illegal entry attempts have become much more organised and have involved large numbers of migrants, often aided by Belarusian security services.