EU should stand behind Poland in border crisis, says German minister

Asked whether reported provocations by Belarusian troops could spark an armed conflict, Maas said he believed Poland "has sufficient common sense... to avoid being drawn into an armed confrontation." OLIVIER HOSLET/PAP/EPA

The German foreign minister has said that Poland deserves full EU support in the migration crisis on its border with Belarus.

Over the past few months, the border has come under pressure from hundreds of Middle Eastern migrants, who are now camped on the Belarusian side of the border fence.

Poland has blamed the crisis on the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, which it says is deliberately pushing migrants into Poland in an attempt to destabilise the EU.

"It must be very clearly said that Belarus is the cause of the border problems, not Poland," Heiko Maas said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday. "In this security crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border Poland deserves our full solidarity."

Asked whether reported provocations by Belarusian troops could spark an armed conflict, Maas said he believed Poland "has sufficient common sense... to avoid being drawn into an armed confrontation."

Maas also said the EU may decide to close its airspace to carriers transporting migrants to Belarus.