Angela Merkel and Mateusz Morawiecki at a joint press conference

The authorities in Minsk, as part of a hybrid attack, lured migrants to Belarus and want to destabilize not only Poland, but the entire European Union, said Angela Merkel at a press conference in Berlin after the meeting with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. – We are currently defending the external border of the EU, and therefore also of Germany, against a great wave of refugees – said the head of the Polish government.

Prime Minister Morawiecki met on Thursday in Berlin with Chancellor Merkel. The conversation concerned, inter alia, the current situation on the Polish-Belarusian border of the European Union and the coordination of the responses of European countries and NATO members to hybrid actions by the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

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German Chancellor: People must not be used for hybrid purposes

Merkel at a joint conference with Morawiecki emphasized that Belarus, in the spirit of a hybrid attack, lured migrants and wants to destabilize not only Poland, but the entire European Union. – Therefore, on the one hand, full solidarity towards Poland, and on the other, a clear message that we are dealing here with a topic between the EU and Belarus and that everything that is happening on a bilateral level must be strictly agreed and consulted. This was also the case with my telephone conversations with (Alyaksandr) Lukashenka, I also talked to the Polish prime minister on this subject, she emphasized.

The German chancellor emphasized that in this situation it is about people – that they have decent help and care and that they can return to their countries of origin. As she added, she also discussed the humanitarian situation on the Polish side with the Polish prime minister.

Merkel stressed that “it was important to hear Poland’s position”. – Poland is under great pressure every day. There are many soldiers there who are trying to protect the border and that is why we will closely cooperate with Poland and it is very good that the prime minister (Mateusz Morawiecki) will meet with the designated German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – she said.

Mateusz Morawiecki and Angela Merkel at the conferencePAP / EPA / JOHN MACDOUGALL / POOL

Merkel on a conversation with Putin and Lukashenka

Merkel said the conversation also concerned the extent to which this situation is related to Russia. – We know that Lukashenka and President Putin have very close relations. That is why I also talked to the Russian president about this situation – she said.

– It must be made clear that people must not be used for such hybrid purposes – assessed the German chancellor.

Merkel spoke about her conversation with President Putin. – I very much regretted that the Russian president was not ready to meet a high-ranking official in the Normandy format. This would be a good sign that both sides are interested in resolving the Ukraine issue and that we must therefore show European solidarity in this respect, as in the case of Belarus, e.g. on sanctions that would still be possible if we did not have any progress – said the chancellor.

– I said clearly that for me this is an approach on which we Europeans agree, and on the other hand, we must show that if the situation deteriorates further, we can introduce further sanctions. The door to dialogue should always be left open. Sanctions are one thing, but we should always show openness to dialogue and talks, Merkel stressed.

Prime Minister on Polish-German relations

– Polish-German relations are certainly fundamental for the cohesion of the European Union and the quality of the response to these crises that are taking place between us – on the periphery of the EU, around Ukraine, Moldova and in several other places, including the Western Balkans. A lot depends on the quality of cooperation between Poland and Germany, including how we will be able to work to consolidate prosperity and peace in this part of the world, said Morawiecki at the conference.

As he noted, in these crises “most of the threads are kept in the Kremlin by the Russian leader”.

In his opinion, “a lot depends on the continuity of our relationship with Germany”. – Therefore, in a moment I will see the very likely future German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to continue our good relations and cooperation in many areas – he assured.

Morawiecki: we defend the external border of the EU, we also defend Germany

Referring to the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, the Prime Minister emphasized that “here we are defending the external border of the Union, and therefore we are also defending Germany against the great wave of refugees”. – Lukashenka tried to test this border – “invited” the first several thousand migrants, and in fact used them as human shields, as instruments to trigger a political crisis. The intention was clear: to destabilize the EU through the Polish-Belarusian border. We stopped this wave of refugees, said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Morawiecki: we are defending the external border of the EU, we are also defending Germany against the great wave of refugees

Prime Minister Morawiecki: we are defending the external border of the EU, we are also defending Germany against the great wave of refugees

Morawiecki recalled that “we have brought about the fact that flights from the Middle East countries ended, that today the road is closed”. However, as he stated, “we are concerned that the next path of migration will be attracting and inviting refugees, migrants from Afghanistan.” – And this is probably one of the future moves on this chessboard of actions planned by Lukashenka and Putin – assessed Morawiecki.

The head of the Polish government indicated the directions of counteracting aggression and attacks from the east. – We must definitely plan the next steps on this escalation ladder, but we must also hope that we will not only go up, but also steps down. Further sanctions, including trade sanctions, must be planned, said the Prime Minister.

He also did not rule out that in the future the flow of goods between Poland and Belarus would not be possible, “if the conflict at the border escalates and migrants are used as a political tool.”

Morawiecki: one of Moscow’s goals is to weaken transatlantic cooperation

The prime minister also stressed the importance of solidarity. – We showed our solidarity to the countries of southern Europe, helping, for example, Greece and Bulgaria, when the previous wave of the migration crisis took place – reminded the head of the Polish government.

In his opinion, transatlantic cooperation is extremely important. – One of Moscow’s goals, and I think several other capitals (…), is to weaken this transatlantic cooperation – the Prime Minister noted. – The Chancellor and Poland are working on the transatlantic cohesion – assured Morawiecki. He stressed that it is extremely important to ensure prosperity, prosperity, stability and peace.

The prime minister also pointed to a common and good energy policy. – Russia’s gas blackmail, unfortunately supported by Nord Stream 2, but also increased energy prices throughout Europe, are hitting the wallets of ordinary citizens. Also citizens of Germany and Poland – said Morawiecki. He added that they contribute both to inflation growth and to “hitting the economy” of the entire European Union.

– The common denominator of the response to all these ills, problems and crises that suddenly appeared (…) in Europe is our common response, is the unity of the European Union and real understanding of the priorities – emphasized Prime Minister Morawiecki.

Morawiecki: internationalization of the crisis is one of our goals

The Prime Minister emphasized that it is extremely important that the entire community of free, democratic states, especially the European Union, be fully aware of the fact that the current crisis was caused by artificial means. – Its internationalization is one of our goals and that is why the discussions also conducted by Charles Michel or the President of the (European Commission, Ursula) von der Leyen are highly recommended here – said Morawiecki.

He added that the Polish side is signaling to the president of the European Council that it wants to raise a number of aspects at its next meeting, which were also discussed at the Thursday meeting, “including how to deal with the Lukashenka regime”. – How to proceed with Belarus, where, on the one hand, we have a large part of the society, the nation that is innocently under political pressure, we have political prisoners, we have political killings, we call for the release of political prisoners, on the other hand – real politics shows that that there is a dictator who is trying to destabilize this part of Europe today, said the head of the Polish government.

He added that the actions of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrel, or the actions of Charles Michel, are considered “absolutely appropriate and right”.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JOHN MACDOUGALL / POOL

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