Poland says the situation at the border with Belarus is under control and confirms that it will not allow asylum seekers to enter
Poland confirmed that it controls the situation on its border with Belarus after confrontations with asylum seekers seeking to enter the European Union, and while the two countries exchange accusations about the cause of the crisis, tensions are threatening to reduce energy supplies from Russia to Europe.
Polish sources reported that the security forces are in control of the situation after the confrontations that took place – yesterday, Tuesday – with a few dozen asylum seekers seeking to cross the border from Belarus to Poland and from there to Germany and other countries in the European Union.
The sources confirmed Poland’s readiness to respond to every attempt to breach the border.
Sources from the Polish Ministry of Defense said that groups of asylum seekers tried last night to cross the border from different regions.
The same sources added that what they described as the attack aims to destabilize Poland and the European Union, stressing that this attempt failed, and that Poland enjoys the full support of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
As of Tuesday evening, there were about two thousand asylum seekers in makeshift camps at the border, and the Polish authorities said that about 100 of them participated in the clashes yesterday.
While the Polish Ministry of Defense reiterated that it would not allow refugees to cross the border, the Polish Defense Minister announced the allocation of bonuses to all soldiers working in the border area.
Polish media quoted the Minister of Defense as stressing the need to prepare for the fact that the crisis will not be resolved soon, and that it may take months, with the hope that it will not continue for years, declaring his welcome all initiatives that would help resolve the situation.
Belarus and Poland exchanged accusations in the wake of confrontations and hit-and-run operations between refugees and Polish police.
While Warsaw accused Minsk of orchestrating what it described as the unprecedented attack on its borders, and of enabling the attackers of asylum seekers with gas bombs, Minsk accused the Polish police of using prohibited chemicals during the repulsion of refugees at the Brozzy crossing, and considered the use of force against civilians on its territory a violation of international law.
Al-Jazeera correspondent Amin Dargami stated that there were political contacts between Belarus and the European Union, also referring to contacts between Russia and Belarus on the one hand, and between Russia and European countries on the other hand, in an effort to solve the refugee crisis that has recently worsened.
In this context, the Russian presidency welcomed today, Wednesday, the establishment of direct contact between European and Belarusian officials to try to solve the refugee crisis on the Polish-Belarus border.
A few days ago, phone talks were held between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in an attempt to find a solution to the migrant problem.
The European Union accuses Belarus of using asylum seekers as a weapon against it in response to the sanctions it imposed on Minsk, while the latter denies this, and says it has deported more than 5,000 asylum seekers.
It is noteworthy that 11 people died among the asylum seekers due to the severe cold and harsh living conditions in the forests on the Belarusian-Polish border.
Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera correspondent Amin Dargami reported that “Transneft”, the company responsible for operating the friendship line for energy supplies between Russia and Europe through Belarus, has reduced the quantities of oil towards Europe through this line because of what it said was maintenance work.
The correspondent pointed out that the step is a remarkable development that refers to a previous escalation talked about by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko when he threatened to stop gas supplies to Europe.
In what seemed to be a response to Lukashenko’s threat to stop gas supplies through Belarus, Germany suspended the ratification procedures for the operating license of the “Nord Stream 2” marine line to transport gas from Russia to Germany for legal considerations.
The Russian presidency said that Moscow does not see political motives in stopping the licensing of “Nord Stream 2” in Germany, adding that it does not interfere in the licensing process of the operator of this line in Germany.
For its part, Britain expressed its opposition to the Nord Stream line, considering that the project could have significant security repercussions on the region.