Migrants have been trying to cross the border and have been coming from Belarus to the European Union for weeks. Merkel intervened. While Poland condemns their advances, the German government protects them.
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Poland tried to mediate between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French head of state Emmanuel Macron He was criticized for the crisis surrounding migrants at the Polish-Belarusian border.
The government in Warsaw had previously been subject to a phone call that Merkel had with the governor of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko Government spokesman Peter Mueller said, and was informed of Macron’s conversation with Kremlin President Vladimir Putin. Mueller said he personally questioned the conversation with Lukashenko, because this was “somehow the acceptance of his choice.” “I understand the situation, but I don’t think it’s a good move.”
Federal government defends phone call with Merkel
According to the German government, Merkel’s phone call with Lukashenko was agreed upon with the European Union Commission in Brussels. “This call was conducted in close coordination with the European Commission and after important partners in the region were also informed in advance,” government spokesman Stephen Seibert said.
The Green Party’s foreign policy spokesman in the Bundestag, Omid Nouribur, again described the conversation Monday night as “devastating”. Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski spoke in a more general way about international involvement in the crisis surrounding migrants at the Belarusian-Polish border.
Fears of deepening the crisis
“You have to consider that internationalization is certainly necessary, but not in such a way as to make you speak over our heads, and such proposals are made,” said the head of the ruling conservative National Law and Justice Party. He warned that if international efforts failed, Poland would have to reckon with a deepening of the crisis and “greater boldness on the part of our opponents”.
Government spokesman Seibert described the situation of migrants at the border as tragic. “In order to improve this disturbing humanitarian situation for thousands of people, it makes sense to talk to those in Minsk who have the opportunity to change this situation – even when it comes to a ruler whose legitimacy Germany like all other European member states does not recognize. The chancellor represented the EU’s well-known positions in the conversation.
First conversation since the elections in Belarus
Merkel had called Lukashenko on Monday evening, given the plight of the migrants. According to a report broadcast by Belarusian state television, the conversation lasted nearly 50 minutes. This is Merkel’s first conversation with the governor since the controversial presidential election on August 9 last year in Belarus.
The I Lukashenko is not recognized as president. The background to this is widespread allegations of electoral fraud and actions of the Belarusian security forces against peaceful demonstrators and civil society.
The night camp was held in the warehouse
In temperatures near freezing point, thousands of migrants have been waiting at the border in makeshift camps for days. According to the Belarusian state agency BELTA, Lukashenko ordered the establishment of a night camp at the storage facilities of a logistics company in the Grodno region near the border. The European Union accuses Lukashenko of bringing refugees from crisis regions to the EU’s external borders in an organized manner in order to put pressure on them. He is suspected of wanting to retaliate against EU sanctions.
The Polish government does not expect to solve the problem of the influx of refugees at the border quickly Belarus. “We must be prepared for the fact that the situation on the Polish-Belarus border will not be resolved quickly,” said Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak. “We have to be ready for months. I hope it won’t last for years,” said Blaschak.
Night camp for immigrants: Lukashenko was allowed to live in a warehouse. (Source: Maxim Guchek / BelTA / AP / dpa)
Last night, migrants attacked the Polish border again. They walked the same way they did the day before. Violent clashes escalated on the border on Tuesday. Polish security forces have reportedly used tear gas and water cannons against refugees after they were stoned from their ranks.
Public attention was focused on the events at the Koznica border crossing, but smaller groups of migrants also tried to “penetrate” the Polish border in other areas, including at night, the defense minister said.
Two violent attempts in the evening.
Polish border guards reported 161 attempts at illegal border crossings on Tuesday, including “two violent attempts in the evening.” On Wednesday, police said that nine police officers, border guards and a soldier were injured on Tuesday.
The European Union accuses the Governor of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, of deliberately smuggling refugees to the border area with the European Union in order to avenge the previous sanctions decisions taken by the European Union. Minsk rejects this claim.