In an interview with DW, the chief of Polish diplomacy accused Poland of trying to “politically destabilize” Poland by what he described as a “constant attack” on the border.
– Of course, this is not a migration crisis; it is a political crisis deliberately caused by Lukashenka – said Zbigniew Rau in an interview for DW.
Lukashenka’s Russian partners
The minister also said that migrants, mainly from the Middle East, trying to get in via Belarus had been “organized, encouraged and supervised by the Belarusian authorities.”
– It must be remembered that the migrants were first brought to Minsk by the Belarusian authorities, where they were instructed, some of them even trained how to behave at the border, how to cross it, certainly illegally, and how to deal with, border guards and so on – said the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Zbigniew Rau suggested that in the case of the situation with migrants on the border, Minsk may also be supported or “supervised by Lukashenka’s Russian partners”. “Certainly, conceptually, logistically, politically, Lukashenko himself could not afford it,” Rau said.
As he commented, the issue of migrants should be seen in a broader context, e.g. Russian military presence near Ukraine, and soaring prices. The minister blamed Russia for using this situation “as a way to break European solidarity and unity.”
Zbigniew Rau also referred to the current situation in Ukraine, where Russian troops on the border have raised concerns in the West. – We must recognize the right of Ukrainians to defense. We will support them in the way they ask for, said the minister.
Sanctions for business entities
The EU recently approved new sanctions against Belarus targeting entities believed to be responsible for migrant smuggling. They affected, inter alia, state-owned airline Belavia.
– If the situation develops in the direction we are dealing with now, there is certainly no alternative to further sanctions – said Zbigniew Rau.
– At the moment, they should be imposed not only on people who are involved in human trafficking, people smuggling and all those who are responsible for bringing these poor, deceived people from the Middle East to Belarus, but also on (economic) entities that they are an instrument in these insidious criminal activities, he said.
“The time has come to move these kinds of sanctions forward to make them the most severe,” he added.
Answering the question of whether Russian people and companies that help the Belarusian government should also be subject to sanctions, Zbigniew Rau said that such suggestions could be considered. He also stressed that the EU would have to reach a consensus on this issue.
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