German president assures Poland of backing in crisis with Belarus

The Belarusian regime's hybrid attack on Poland by pushing Middle Eastern migrants into Poland across both countries' common border was the subject of a Friday telephone conversation between the presidents of Poland and Germany, Andrzej Duda and Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Recounting the conversation to PAP, Duda's international policy aide Jakub Kumoch said Steinmeier assured Duda of Germany's support in the situation, and promised that Germany will back Poland in the matter in the EU.

Kumoch said both presidents agreed that bringing migrants to the Polish-Belarusian border in order to force their entry into Poland is "shameful, unheard of, and unprecedented by any regime."

"Poland and Germany share a common stand in the matter and condemn these activities in equal measure. They believe that the difficult situation of... the illegal migrants is being exploited to attack the European Union," Kumoch said.

Kumoch also recalled German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas's earlier assurances of Germany's support of Poland. He added that such support was very important as it showed the EU speaking with one voice in a situation involving one of its frontiers.

Commenting on the talks on Friday evening, Duda wrote on Twitter that Germany was strongly critical of the developments on the Polish-Belarusian border and supported Poland in the matter.

"Frank-Walter Steinmeier assured me that Germany strongly condemned Alexander Lukashenko's activity on the EU frontier, and that Poland can count on Germany's full support," Duda wrote.

On September 2, Poland imposed a state of emergency in parts of two Belarus-bordering provinces in connection with a several-week-long stand-off involving a group of migrants trying to cross into Poland from Belarus.The around 30-strong group, said to include Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians, has been camped on the Belarusian side of the border for over three weeks after Poland refused them entry.

Poland has accused Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko regime of encouraging the migrants to cross over to its territory in a bid to destabilise the EU, and has called the operation a hybrid attack.