Poland will close a key border crossing with Belarus until further notice, the Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński said on Thursday, as relations between Warsaw and Minsk sink to new lows after Polish minority activist in Belarus, journalist Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years in prison.
“Due to the important interest of state security, I decided to suspend until further notice from 12:00 (CET) on February 10 this year traffic at the Polish-Belarusian border crossing in Bobrowniki,” Mariusz Kamiński wrote on Twitter.
Z uwagi na ważny interes bezpieczeństwa państwa zdecydowałem o zawieszeniu do odwołania od 10 lutego br. od godz. 12:00 ruchu na polsko-białoruskim przejściu granicznym w Bobrownikach.
— Mariusz Kamiński (@Kaminski_M_) February 9, 2023
Bobrowniki, more than 200 km northeast of Warsaw, is one of the key crossing points between Poland and Belarus.
Kamiński also said that as a result of journalist Andrzej Poczobut being sentenced, he would apply for further people connected with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to be added to sanctions lists.
The Belarusian foreign ministry and the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw did not immediately comment on the matter.
Poland a safe haven for political refugees
Poland has become a key refuge for opponents of the Lukashenka regime.
Moreover, Warsaw established itself as one of Kyiv’s staunchest allies since Belarusian ally Russia invaded the country in February last year.
Thousands of people of Polish origin live in Belarus as the west of the country was Polish territory until the borders were redrawn after World War Two.