Poland may close all border crossings with Belarus: Morawiecki
Poland's Prime Minister says his country might head toward closing all border crossings with Belarus more than a year after the massive migrant crisis that took place between the two countries.
Poland may close its remaining open border crossings with Belarus, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Friday after Warsaw took the decision to close another checkpoint between the two countries, citing national security issues.
Polish Interior and Administration Minister Mariusz Kaminski announced Thursday that traffic at the Bobrowniki checkpoint at the Polish-Belarusian border would be suspended starting February 10, in the "interests of state security."
"When it comes to Belarus' actions, we are not ruling out the closure of border crossings with Belarus," Morawiecki told reporters.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry denounced Warsaw's decision as "inhumane" and harmful to business, especially European carriers, and citizens. Furthermore, the decision drove Minsk to lodge a strong protest with Poland over the closure of the border crossing.
"We closed the border crossing point in [the Polish village of] Bobrowniki, as you know, because of the unsafe actions [of Belarus]. And the reason is the tenseness of the situation, we are talking about the actions of Belarus," Morawiecki added.
Poland's border guards announced in January 2022 the start of construction of a 186-kilometer (115-mile) fence at the border with Belarus after thousands of migrants from West Asia streamed to the border in an attempt to cross into the European Union.
There have been massive tensions between Poland and Belarus over the migrant crisis in question, which has been taking place since November 2021, with Warsaw witnessing thousands of migrants and refugees attempting to cross its borders, most of whom come from the Middle East and Africa.
Poland confronted these waves of migrants by sending thousands of soldiers in addition to imposing a state of emergency on its borders. Authorities have worked to establish a barbed wire fence, an action that has exposed the Warsaw government to sharp criticism for its toughness in dealing with the crisis.
At its peak, Poland deployed about 15,000 soldiers along the border with Belarus, in addition to police and border guards, and imposed a state of emergency in the region.
Moreover, the EU accused Belarus of encouraging thousands of people fleeing war-torn parts of the world to try to cross its borders and has threatened to impose new sanctions on Minsk and airlines that transport migrants.
Check out: The Polish-Belarusian Border Crisis