WARSAW, Nov. 14 (Reuters) – NATO must take “concrete steps” to resolve the migrant crisis on the Belarusian border, the Polish prime minister said on Sunday, adding that Poland, Lithuania and Latvia could ask for more consultations under Article 4 of the Treaty of Alliance.
Under Article 4, any ally may request consultations whenever, in the opinion of one of them, its territorial integrity, political independence or security is threatened.
“We are discussing with Latvia, and in particular with Lithuania, the advisability of triggering Article 4 of the NATO treaty,” Mateusz Morawiecki told the official Polish press agency PAP.
“It is not enough for us to publicly express our concern – we now need concrete action and commitment from the whole alliance. “
Thousands of migrants traveled to Belarus in the hope of crossing into the European Union (EU), only to find themselves trapped at the border in freezing conditions.
The EU accuses Minsk of orchestrating the crisis to pressure the bloc over the sanctions it has imposed, but Belarus has repeatedly denied this. Some countries in the region have warned that the stalemate could escalate into a military conflict.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key supporter of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, has said Russia is ready to help resolve the crisis, the RIA news agency reported on Sunday, citing a TV interview. public. Read more
Morawiecki told PAP that EU leaders will discuss new sanctions against Belarus. “We will certainly discuss new sanctions, including the complete closure of the border,” he said.
He also said the EU should jointly fund the construction of a border wall.
Meanwhile, Polish forces have described an increasingly tense situation on the border, with border guards saying they expected another “big attempt” to break through.
On Saturday, a group of around 50 migrants broke through border defenses and entered Poland near the village of Starzyna, police said on Sunday.
All the people were captured by the Polish uniformed services and brought back to the border, border guard spokeswoman Katarzyna Zdanowicz told the Polish state news agency PAP.
Police also said an officer was admitted to hospital after being struck by a stone.
Polish security service spokesman Stanislaw Zaryn wrote on Twitter Sunday about trucks carrying stones and rubble from Belarusian construction companies to areas near the border. ($ 1 = 4.0476 zlotys)
Reporting by Alan Charlish and Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Alex Richardson
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