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Poland wants a crisis meeting within NATO

Polish police near the border with Belarus.

© Matthias Schraeder / AP / TT
Polish police near the border with Belarus.

Poland, Latvia and Lithuania are considering asking NATO to provide military support in the border dispute with Belarus.

The European Union meets on Monday and is considering tightening sanctions against the regime in Belarus.

The situation remains tense on the border between Belarus and Poland.

The country’s border police reported that more than 200 people had tried, on Saturday, to enter Poland.

In the afternoon, about fifty people managed to cross the grass. Twenty-two people, all from Iraq, were arrested shortly after.

Ongoing major political tensions in the border area prompted the capitals of Warsaw, Riga and Vilnius to consider requesting a crisis meeting with NATO member states.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said he and colleagues in Latvia and Lithuania are discussing whether a reference should be made to Article 4 of the NATO Charter. It gives NATO countries the right to request a crisis meeting if they consider that the country’s political independence, territorial integrity or security is threatened.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.  Photo gallery.

© Olivier Hoslet / AP / TT
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo gallery.

In an interview with the Polish news agency PAP, Morawiecki believes that unfortunately the criteria have been met:

– There is no doubt that she went away.

Sleeping outside in the cold

At the border, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to sleep in the open during cold nights. Aid organizations say about a dozen people have died.

People from different countries of the Middle East traveled to Minsk and later appeared on the border with Poland, which is currently under tight control. Poland declared a state of emergency at the border, and sent about 15,000 soldiers there.

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The European Union holds Belarus, led by Alexander Lukashenko, responsible for the thousands of people gathered at the border, and sees the whole thing as a reaction to the current sanctions against the Belarusian regime.

Penalties extended

At a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday, the sanctions are expected to be increased.

“We will give the green light to extend the legal framework of our sanctions against Belarus, so that they can be applied to anyone involved in the smuggling of migrants to this country,” EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told France’s Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper.