German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that she found it unacceptable that the refugees were used to put pressure on Poland and other members of the European Union on the border with Belarus.
Speaking at a press conference in what she said she expected to be her last official visit to Poland as Chancellor, Merkel called on Belarus, but also Poland, to help people in difficult humanitarian conditions trapped between the border between Poland and Belarus.
She stressed that she found it “totally unacceptable that such hybrid attacks” were carried out with the help of people seeking to reach the EU, recalling that this was also a message she had delivered to the President. Russian Vladimir Putin at a recent meeting.
Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have seen increased crossings of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians and Africans from Belarus in recent months. The three EU countries accuse Belarus of pushing migrants across their borders and say they see this as part of a “hybrid war” against the EU.
Merkel spoke at a press conference with Polish President Mateusz Morawiecki outside a palace in the Royal Baths Park in Warsaw.
The two said they discussed the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as security concerns in light of recent developments in Afghanistan, such as new threats from cyber attacks.
European issues have also been raised, including climate policy and an ongoing dispute between Warsaw and Brussels over changes to the judiciary in Poland, which the EU considers a violation of the rule of law.
Merkel said she hoped the issue could be resolved through dialogue. Merkel, who has been chancellor since 2005, plans to step down after elections later this month.
Morawiecki said that despite some disagreements, Polish-German relations developed during Merkel’s tenure at the helm.
“Our economic relations are very good, Polish companies are developing in cooperation with German companies, and vice versa, for which I am very grateful,” said Morawiecki.
He added that “despite various differences, we are able, above all, to highlight what unites us”.
Merkel also commemorated the victims of World War II in Warsaw by laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The Independent Gt