President hopes European Council will agree to more sanctions on Belarus

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland wants the European Council to impose more sanctions on Belarus in retaliation for hybrid attacks, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, said on Tuesday in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

In recent months Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have seen increasing numbers of Middle Eastern migrants trying to cross their borders from Belarus.

According to the three countries, the migrants are being deliberately pushed onto their territory by the regime of Belarus's Alexander Lukashenko in a move to destabilise the EU.

Poland, which is the most affected country, has said that the migrants are being used as a form of "hybrid attack" against the EU.

Duda said after talks with his Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda that the crisis was not only affecting Poland but also Lithuania and Latvia.

"We do hope the European Council decides about further sanctions on the Belarusian regime... because this kind of support from the European Union, as a community, is certainly what our countries need today," Duda said in Vilnius.

Duda added that Poland treated the protection of its border with Belarus "with full responsibility," especially as it was an external EU frontier. "As an EU and Schengen member, we pledged to our European partners that we will guard the border responsibly, and that we will not allow illegal migration," Duda said.