WARSAW, Poland (AP) – A senior European Union official condemned Belarus and on Friday expressed support for Poland, Lithuania and Latvia as a state of emergency came into effect in areas of eastern Poland following a surge in illegal migration.
EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Slovenia that EU foreign ministers “show solidarity with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland and we are ready to take all measures to support them if the situation changes further deteriorated ”. . “
He also said that they regret that Lukashenko’s regime “cynically” “used migrants and refugees to artificially pressure our eastern borders”.
“We said when we had pressure from migrants on the Spanish border, we said: ‘The Spanish border with Morocco is a European border’. Now is the time to say that the borders of Lithuania and Poland in Eastern Europe are also the borders of Europe, ”said Borrell.
Poland declared a state of emergency after thousands of migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries tried to enter the country illegally from Belarus in recent weeks.
Poland and the Baltic states argue that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is waging a “hybrid war” against their countries – EU states that border Belarus – in revenge for EU sanctions.
All three nations have strengthened their borders and Lithuania and Latvia declared a state of emergency this summer.
Meanwhile, human rights activists have raised concerns about a group of 32 Afghans who have been stuck on the Polish-Belarusian border for more than three weeks.
Polish officials said the state of emergency was necessary to stop migration and prevent provocations after 13 activists recently protested at the border trying to cut through a new barbed wire barrier. They also cited potential risks related to Russian military exercises that will begin later this month and include elements in Belarus.
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