Berlin has been put on alert for new mass refugee flows. Germany on Tuesday called on the European Union to “take action” to help prevent a mass influx of migrants, as thousands of people have gathered on the Belarus-Poland border.
“Poland or Germany cannot tackle the problem alone,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told the tabloid Bild newspaper, calling on the EU to form a “common front”.
“We have to help the Polish government to ensure the security of its external borders. This should be a matter for the European Commission. “I now call for action to be taken,” he insisted.
Horst Seehofer stressed that he supports Poland’s decision to build a wall on the border with Belarus.
“We can not criticize (…) the protection of the EU ‘s external borders,” he said.
He made the remarks after Poland said it had prevented hundreds of migrants from trying to cross its border with Belarus illegally and that thousands more had gathered in that part of the EU’s external border.
Germany, which borders Poland, has seen a sharp rise in the number of illegal immigrants and refugees from Belarus. In October alone, they reached 5,000, according to German authorities.
Berlin responded by stepping up border controls with Poland and deploying additional police officers there.
“Germany could very quickly send police forces to help Poland, if it so wishes,” Warsaw told Bild.
“We are afraid that there will be no escalation of this kind of action on the Polish border in the near future, and that it will be armed in nature,” Piotr Miller, a spokesman for the Polish government, told a news conference yesterday.
EU accuses Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko of airlifting migrants and refugees from the Middle East and Africa to Minsk, the capital of the country, and then sending them across the border to retaliate against European Union member states. for the sanctions imposed on his government by Brussels over the suppression of the Belarusian opposition. Mr Lukashenko has denied the allegations.
Faced with the growing crisis, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday called on EU member states to approve new sanctions. “The instrumentalization of immigrants for political purposes is unacceptable,” the president of the Commission said in a press release (24907637).
In addition to imposing new sanctions on Minsk, he stressed that the EU “will consider how to impose sanctions on third-country airlines” that transport migrants to Belarus.