Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “full solidarity” with Warsaw in the face of Poland’s tense border situation with Belarus
BERLIN – Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday expressed “full solidarity” with Warsaw over Poland’s tense border situation with Belarus.
Merkel reiterated her accusation that Belarus was carrying out a “hybrid attack” by luring migrants into the country and then sending them to the Polish border in an attempt to destabilize both Poland and the European Union as a whole.
“So it is total solidarity with Poland on the one hand, and on the other hand I would of course like to express very clearly that this is a problem between the European Union and Belarus, and this ‘that is why everything that happens bilaterally must be coordinated, ”she said. told reporters after a meeting in Berlin with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
Her comments were seen as a response to Polish criticism that she had failed to coordinate with Warsaw until recently contacting Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko. After Merkel’s call, Belarus started repatriating some migrants to Iraq.
Merkel said the EU would impose additional sanctions on Belarus “if no progress is seen”.
She also underlined the role that Belarus’ close ally, Russia, could play in putting pressure on Minsk. This sentiment was echoed by Morawiecki, who said there was a “cordial request (to Putin) to exert influence on the situation in Belarus”.
Morawiecki said trade sanctions would be a powerful instrument against Belarus.
“I very much regretted that neither the Russian President nor the Russian Foreign Minister are ready to hold another high-level meeting in the Norman format before the end of my term,” said Merkel, referring to the talks at four between Russia. , Ukraine, Germany and France.
Such talks have been held several times over the years to resolve tensions between Ukraine and its neighbor Russia, with limited success.
“It would have been a good signal that all parties are interested in a solution to the Ukrainian problem,” Merkel said. “This, unfortunately, did not happen.”