Poland-Belarus border crossing closed due to hybrid warfare concerns: FM
Radosław Sikorski Sebastian Indra/MSZ

Poland-Belarus border crossing closed due to hybrid warfare concerns: FM

The Polish-Belarusian border crossing at Bobrowniki, closed since February last year, will remain shut amid a worsening migration crisis, Poland’s Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski has said. It is reported by Upmp.news with reference to “Polskie Radio”.

Speaking during a meeting in the northeastern Polish city of Białystok, near the Belarus border, on Monday, Sikorski cited ongoing “hybrid warfare” from Belarus and Russia, news outlets reported.

He said that geopolitical tensions undermine the possibility of reopening the border crossing.

This decision aligns with military and border security recommendations emphasizing national security risks, according to Sikorski.

He told reporters that people attempting to enter Poland illegally from Belarus are “victims of Lukashenko and Putin.”

Sikorski pointedly directed questions about their fate to Russia and Belarus: “What to do with those people? That’s an excellent question for Lukashenko and Putin as they issued them with visas.”

He reiterated that Poland was facing the most significant hybrid warfare attack in decades, characterized by arson, cyberattacks and espionage.

Historically, Poland and Belarus had an agreement facilitating local border traffic, but it was never fully implemented due to non-compliance by Belarus, Sikorski said.

He acknowledged that this closure impacts local businesses but emphasized that the safety and control of the European Union’s external borders are paramount.

He underscored the challenges posed by hybrid attacks, noting that the primary victims are often innocent civilians caught in geopolitical conflicts.

Observers have repeatedly stated that Russia and Belarus have been using thousands of migrants from African and Middle Eastern countries as, in effect, weapons in the hybrid war against the European Union and the broader West.

Sikorski also addressed questions regarding the economic impact of the border closure. He acknowledged the disruption to local commerce, particularly for businesses accustomed to cross-border trade.

“Now in Belarus, we are dealing with the biggest repression in the history of that regime,” Sikorski said. “So unfortunately, I’m very sorry, because I would also like our entrepreneurs to be able to conduct normal activities, but it is Lukashenko and Putin who are at hybrid war with Europe, not the other way around,” he added.

The foreign minister told reporters that the Polish government was aware of these economic consequences and was exploring measures to mitigate the adverse effects on local communities.


Source: IAR, PAP