EU home affairs chief to discuss border crisis with Polish interior minister

Johansson said on Wednesday she will meet Kaminski briefly at the airport on Thursday. OLIVIER HOSLET/PAP/EPA

Ylva Johansson, the EU's commissioner for home affairs, has said she will on Thursday meet with Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski to discuss the tense migration situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

Poland and the Baltic countries have accused the Belarusian government of pushing migrants, most of them from the Middle East, across their borders in an effort to destabilise both its neighbours and the EU.

Johansson said on Wednesday she will meet Kaminski briefly at the airport on Thursday.

She said the EU should help member states protect the bloc's external borders, including the one between Poland and Belarus.

Admitting that the EU should respond decisively to provocations caused by the Alexander Lukashenko regime, Johansson said that it should also be manifested that the border is not only Polish, but also European.

She expressed a belief that Poland will agree to a broader cooperation with the EU in protecting the border.

So far Poland has refused to accept the EU's offer of assistance from the bloc's border agency Frontex, claiming it is managing the situation efficiently on its own.

However, rights groups and journalists have complained they do not have access to a narrow belt of Polish territory alongside the border, where the Polish government declared a state of emergency on September 2, cutting off access to third parties in the area.

Four migrants died on the Polish side of the border and prosecutors have instigated proceedings into the deaths.

Johansson thanked Kaminski for the prosecutors' decision, calling the deaths a reason for concern.

Earlier on Wednesday, Poland presented a report on the migration crisis to other EU members, saying it expects the situation to escalate due to the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan and Minsk's attempts to bring in more migrants from the Middle East and Africa.