Putin plans to exploit Polish border crisis says security chief
Since the start of an escalating migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, Polish authorities have foreseen that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to capitalise politically on the situation, the director of the National Security Department has said.
Stanisław Żaryn said that by accepting and supporting the actions of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whom Poland and the EU accuse of engineering the crisis, Putin will demand concessions in return for "calming the situation."
"Since the beginning we have foreseen that Putin - accepting and supporting Lukashenko's actions - will try to capitalise politically on the migration crisis, requesting consent for his demands in return for 'calming the situation.' An international political game has just begun." Żaryn wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Thousands of Middle Eastern, Asian and African migrants have tried to force the Polish-Belarusian border in a crisis Warsaw blames on Minsk. Hundreds of Polish soldiers and border guards have been deployed to the area, which has been under a state of emergency since September 2.
On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov compared the situation with a refugee wave from Turkey. The EU supports financially refugees remaining in Turkey, Lavrov said, arguing that the bloc could do the same in Belarus.
"Why not also help the Belarusians, who have certain needs, so that the refugees that Lithuania and Poland don't want to admit to their territories could live in normal conditions," Lavrov told a press conference, adding that refugees do not wish to stay "either in Belarus or in Turkey" but want to reach EU countries.
Lavrov said the EU had for years "propagated and advertised its lifestyle" and as such "must be responsible for its conduct."
Żaryn reacted to Lavrov's words and wrote "the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry is formulating the first 'advice' for the European Union on how to resolve the migration crisis. In the nearest future, Russia will ever more often present itself as a country that can help solve the migration problems of the West."