“Full solidarity with Poland”
Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border with her Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki during the latter’s visit to Berlin: “We both believe that the situation was caused by Belarus luring migrants to Belarus with the aim of launching a hybrid attack,” said the Federal Chancellor at a joint press conference.
Close coordination with European partners
The situation at the Polish-Belarusian border caused by Belarus is not only aimed at destabilising Poland, but also at weakening the entire European Union, stressed Merkel. Since this was a matter between Belarus and the EU, everything that happened bilaterally must be closely coordinated, said Merkel, as had been the case during her telephone calls with Alexander Lukashenko.
Ensuring humane treatment
The Federal Chancellor also referred to the situation of the people holding out in the border region: “This is about human lives, so we have an interest in these people being treated humanely in Belarus,” said Merkel, adding that this was why she and Prime Minister Morawiecki had discussed the humanitarian situation on the Polish side, too.
Migrants are not to be abused for hybrid purposes
Merkel said that another aspect of the talks had been to consider how far Russia was linked to the current refugee problem. It was well known that Lukaschenko maintained close relations with Russian President Putin, said the Federal Chancellor, which is why she had recently sought talks with Putin, too. Moscow too now had to clearly commit to “not abusing human beings for hybrid purposes,” said Merkel.
Ukraine conflict: European unity important
In addition to Belarus, the situation in Ukraine was also a topic of discussion since it is still a cause for concern – in particular the concentration of troops. Federal Chancellor Merkel said she very much regretted that neither the Russian President nor Russia’s Foreign Minister were willing to hold another high-level meeting under the Normandy format before the end of her term in office. As in the case of Belarus, European unity was needed on the question of further sanctions being imposed if no progress were made, she added.
In addition to Federal Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Morawiecki also met with Vice Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz during his stay in Berlin. Federal Chancellor Merkel last visited Poland on 11 September 2021 to discuss security policy issues with Prime Minister Morawiecki.