Time to ask Nato for help, opposition leader says of migrant crisis
Poland should consider triggering Article 4 of the Nato treaty to help the country deal with the threat posed by the migrant wave, Donald Tusk, the leader of Poland’s main opposition party, said on Monday.
Under the article, Nato members meet to discuss an issue of concern such as threats to territorial integrity, political independence or security.
Speaking at a press conference, Tusk, the leader of Civic Platform, said he was "very concerned about what is happening today and what will probably happen in the hours to come at our eastern border."
Hundreds of migrants, according to media reports, gathered on the Polish-Belarusian border in an apparent bid to break into Poland on Monday.
Stanisław Żaryn, director of the National Security Department, described this as "very disturbing information from the border.”
"The largest attempt to date to enter Poland by force has just begun," Żaryn added.
But Tusk said "the real problem is that no-one knows what the Polish government is going to do."
"Our relations with our eastern neighbour are about to deteriorate even further," he said.
Calling upon the government to start talks with the opposition and on the president to convene a cross-party National Security Council meeting, Tusk said the most important thing was to find whether launching Article 4 of the Nato treaty is now necessary.
"What is most important is perhaps to consider whether we should trigger Nato's Article 4 if our border is under direct threat from physical pressure with Belarusian involvement, and I mean Belarusian state services," Tusk said.
Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused the government of Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, of bringing migrants from the Middle East and Africa, and then pushing them across the EU border in an effort to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels has imposed on Minsk.