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Putin, Lukashenka cooperate to destabilise Central Europe: minister on CNN

Russian and Belarusian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Alyaksandr Lukashenka, are working hand in hand to destabilise security in Central Europe, Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told CNN on Thursday, commenting on the migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border triggered by Minsk.

The politician pointed out that the Polish government was continuously warning its allies in the US and Europe not to deal with Vladimir Putin in a way that serves his interests.

He stressed that it also pertains to sanctions against Nord Stream 2, because, in his opinion, the Russian president wants to cut off the gas supply to Ukraine, which would put Kyiv in a sticky situation.

When asked why the Polish services used water cannons and tear gas in relation to “defenceless civilians”, the deputy minister replied that the migrants gathered at the border threw stones and stun grenades delivered by the Belarusian services at the Polish officers.

“This has nothing to do with defenceless refugees, these people are not refugees,” said Mr Jabłoński, adding that the current situation should not be called “a refugee crisis,” as the people in question are being used by Lukashenka in a hybrid war against the EU.

When asked why the Polish state would not accept migrants seeking asylum, Minister Jabłoński assured that people currently on the border did not flee countries affected by war.

“What we have been doing for the last weeks is working together very closely with the governments of the region, also with the Iraqi government, to organise a swift readmission procedure of safe return home,” he said.

In his opinion, the international community needs to pressure Mr Luksashenka to organise safe returns, as the Iraqi gov’t “is already organising some flights.” The politician declared that the Polish state will work with anyone who wants to support that approach.

“Do not fall prey to these lies, threats and ideas that you might have easy access to the EU, it is impossible this way,” Mr Jabłoński called on citizens of Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries.

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