Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Poland will do what is needed to end Belarus border crisis, says deputy minister


By Barbara Erling

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland will do whatever it takes to resolve a migrant crisis on its border with Belarus, a deputy defence minister said, as Warsaw weighed options that may include closing the frontier.

The border has become a flashpoint as Western officials accuse the Belarus government of sending migrants from outside of Europe to Poland, in a form of “hybrid warfare”.

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has previously said that Poland does not rule out a complete closure of the border, while President Andrej Duda raised the border crisis in talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, stressing its impact on trade with Europe.

Poland has completely closed four of its six border crossings with Belarus due to tensions with Minsk.

“We are ready for any solution in this area, because we will not allow this migration crisis caused by Belarus to last indefinitely,” Deputy Defence Minister Cezary Tomczyk told Reuters.

Poland’s efforts to resolve the crisis partly comprised improving fortification and policing on the border, but Warsaw was also sending a clear political message that the current situation “cannot last forever,” Tomczyk said.

Asked whether Beijing could help Poland to end the crisis, Tomczyk said he believed China did not want a bad situation on the border.

“China is a global player. China has global interests in Europe. And they have to reach Europe somehow.”

With Western leaders gathering for the NATO summit in Washington, Tomczyk said he hoped the alliance’s members would discuss whether Poland could shoot down Russian missiles heading for NATO territory while they were still over Ukrainian soil.

“This is, of course, complicated in terms of legal and political issues, but it seems that this is the direction and it should be thoroughly discussed by NATO.”

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR