German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer appeals to the European Union to “take action” to help stop the influx of migrants from Belarus to the Polish-Belarusian border. The risk that the situation at the border will turn into a serious conflict, notes Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. The head of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ben Knapen, describes Belarus’ behavior as “inhuman meanness”.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, in an interview for the “Bild” daily, called on the European Union to “take action” to help stop the influx of migrants from Belarus to the Polish-Belarusian border. “Poland or Germany cannot face this situation on their own,” Seehofer said in an interview for the Tuesday edition of the daily.
“We should help the Polish government to secure the external border. This should be the task of the European Commission. I am calling for action. The EU should create a common front,” he added.
In this context, Seehofer emphasized that he supported the decision of the Polish government to erect a permanent dam on the border with Belarus. “We cannot criticize the protection of the EU’s external borders,” said the German minister. “Of course, without resorting to the use of firearms, but using other available means” – he noted.
“Bild” also cites a statement by a high-ranking German Interior Ministry official, Stephan Mayer, who expressed the view that Germany could “very quickly send a police force to support Poland if she so wished.”
Finland’s head of diplomacy: Belarus is brazenly taking advantage of the situation
– The dispute over refugees on the Polish-Belarusian border threatens to turn into a serious conflict when soldiers have been deployed on both sides – says the head of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pekka Haavisto. – Belarus brazenly takes advantage of the situation, and according to the information we have, about 50 planes a week arrive in the capital of Minsk from Arab countries and Turkey – Haavisto said on Monday evening on the Yle TV program.
According to the minister, the range of solutions available to Europe still includes sanctions, and in this new situation the EU cannot withdraw, especially since human rights are grossly violated in Belarus. – We need to set an upper limit for Belarus’s activities – he added.
At the same time, the Finnish politician admitted that, in his opinion, Minsk’s current refugee actions are not directed from Russia, but “are Lukashenka’s retaliation against earlier EU actions.”
When asked about Finland’s possible actions in the event of a similar influx of refugees, he replied that the suggestion to withdraw asylum applications completely in retaliation was “out of the question”. Haavisto argued that this would lead to “changes to the rules of the game” resulting from international agreements, and that there may always be people in the group of newcomers who need humanitarian aid, and that their lives and health may be at risk.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands: treating people as weapons is dishonorable
– Treating people as weapons in the fight against the European Union is wicked – said the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Knapen in the lower house of parliament (Tweede Kamer). The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Dutch parliamentarians that 55 planes from the Middle East a week are to arrive in Belarus this winter.
The minister fears that a humanitarian tragedy may occur in a cold winter situation. The Dutch media report on the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border in the forefront of news services. They remind that the Belarusian regime intentionally directs migrants to the border with Poland.
“Many refugees come to Belarus straight from Moscow,” writes the daily “De Telegraaf”, emphasizing that the Belarusian dictator has the full support of President Vladimir Putin in his attempt to destabilize Western countries. “Lukashenko is taking revenge for the sanctions imposed by the European Union for violating human rights,” comments the daily Algemeen Dagblad.
“The European Union is blackmailed by the dictator, you cannot give in to him,” says Bob Deen of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael, quoted by the newspaper. Deen says the answer should be stricter sanctions because “the EU must help Poland.”
Main photo source: MON