Britain was praised for setting an example to EU countries after deploying a small team of troops to Poland’s border. This is happening as the migration crisis between Poland and Belarus worsens. Earlier today, the Polish prime minister called on NATO to act, saying the alliance must take “concrete steps” to resolve the crisis.
Mateusz Morawiecki added that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia may request consultations in accordance with Article 4 of the alliance treaty.
He said: “It is not enough just for us to publicly express our concern – now that we need concrete steps and the commitment of the whole alliance.”
Overnight, a group of about 50 people broke through defenses on Poland’s border with Belarus on Saturday as the situation became increasingly tense.
Victoria Starych-Samuoliene, co-founder and director at the Council on Geostrategy, told LBC’s Iain Dale that she hopes EU countries will follow Britain’s example.
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She said: “Sanctions could be one piece of the package, but we must also strongly consider military support if necessary.
“That’s exactly what happened when Britain deployed 150 of its military employees initially to provide some logistical support.
“This is a very important step to prevent the aggressive Belarusian regime. Hopefully, other European countries will follow.”
This comes as EU foreign ministers consider extending sanctions against Belarus on Monday to include airlines and travel agencies that were allegedly involved in bringing migrants to the border of the bloc.
The Ministry of Defense said the British military personnel had been deployed to look at “how we can provide engineering support to deal with the ongoing situation at the Belarusian border”.
Thousands of migrants, many of them refugees, remain trapped at the border in freezing conditions.
Polish police have also accused Belarus of trying to harm its officers.
An officer’s helmet serving at the border was damaged after a stone was thrown at him.
Poland’s security services spokesman Stanisław Żaryn tweeted today that trucks carrying stones and rubbish from Belarusian construction companies had been seen near the border.