Poland must defend eastern borders of EU, Polish PM says
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in an interview with the German daily Bild, spoke about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the use of migrants by the Belarusian services to blackmail EU countries.
Thousands of mostly Middle Eastern migrants are now camped on the Belarusian side of the Polish border, brought there, according to the Polish government, by the government of Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president.
Morawiecki told Bild that despite many attempts to force the border and the clashes in the area, which saw several Polish officers wounded, the situation at the Poland-Belarus frontier remained under control, although "it is becoming more and more dangerous."
He added that he hopes that despite numerous obvious provocations from the Belarusian services, they would not take "a step too far."
According to Morawiecki, "migrants are being used by Belarus as a weapon. And the targets are Germany, France and the Netherlands."
"So, by defending the Polish border, we defend the whole of Europe," he told Bild. "We, Poles, are determined to protect our border by all means, which is also the eastern border of Europe and Nato," Morawiecki added.
According to Morawiecki, the example of Poland shows that a sovereign state can, successfully, and should defend its borders.
"The same is true for Europe: We must do everything we can to protect our borders in the Mediterranean and in the East from immigration... and all means of protection and surveillance are needed to counter the attacks," he said.
He believes that if thousands of migrants cannot be stopped now, "several hundred or thousands or millions" will be soon be heading to Europe, especially to Germany, from Africa or the Middle East.
He also told Bild he was pleased with the support for Poland shown by the leaders of Nato countries, including current German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz and that launching of Article 4 of the Nato treaty would be the right move.
In his view, when it comes to potential threats from Belarus and Russia, "nothing cannot be ruled out. Lukashenko and (Russian President Vladimir - PAP) Putin are clearly pursuing a strategy of causing unrest and destabilising the West."
"We don't know what else they are up to. It is possible that the crisis on the border is aimed at distracting attention from the new military attacks that Putin is preparing against Ukraine," Morawiecki said.
The Polish prime minister also commented on Merkel's phone calls with Lukashenko. "For me, one thing is for sure: in this crisis, decisions cannot be made above our heads. However, if the conversation concerned how migrants from Belarus are to be brought back to their countries, then any initiative in this matter is in the interest of Poland," he said.