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Brussels: Polish PM doesn’t exclude closing border with Belarus

Following the Thursday decision by Poland’s Interior and Administration Minister Mariusz Kamiński to close the Polish-Belarusian crossing in Bobrowniki until further notice, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Brussels on Friday that he did not exclude closing further border crossings with Belarus.

Kamiński’s decision came “in consideration of the state’s [Poland’s] vital security interest,” as he put it on Thursday.

PM Morawiecki, visiting Brussels for a EU summit that hosts Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that the Polish government was “not excluding closing other border crossings with Belarus.”

“The reason for this is that there are growing tensions with Belarus and they are being instrumentalized by the Russians and the Kremlin,” he stressed.

Jets for Ukraine is NATO’s call

PM Morawiecki, visiting Brussels for an EU summit that hosts Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said any decision on supplying fighter jets to Ukraine must come from NATO.

There would have to be a decision on the part of NATO and Poland will eventually decide what to do when there is an unequivocal decision that fighter jets can be transferred to Ukraine,” Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference in Brussels.

Moving to the topic of ammunition for Ukraine, the official signaled that the idea of delivering it to Ukraine was ambiguously received by some EU member states.

“We discussed the supply of ammunition yesterday… joint procurement and production would be in the interest of all NATO and EU countries and in the interest of Ukraine,” he said. “Unfortunately there was not a positive reaction to our proposal from some countries.”

The PM recalled how Poland became a bellwether for European aid to Ukraine at the very outset of Russia’s invasion. He harkened back to March 15, 2022, when together with the PMs of Slovenia and the Czech Republic but also the leader of Poland’s governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, the then-deputy PM, Jarosław Kaczyński, he visited Kyiv to demonstrate Poland’s support for the embattled country and its nation.

He also stressed that Poland became one of the first countries to send weapons to Ukraine.

The PM recalled that the swift granting of an EU membership candidate status was also done on Poland’s initiative. He also highlighted Poland’s role in bringing about the U.S. decision to hand over the Patriot defense system to Ukraine and convincing Germany to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, along with allowing other countries holding Leopard 2 tanks to do the same.

Treating former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

PM Morawiecki also said that Poland has proposed to the Georgian government that former President Mikheil Saakashvili can be treated in Poland.

Poland has issued a proposal to the Georgian government that Mikheil Saakashvili could be treated in Poland,” PM Morawiecki said in Brussels.

Best known for being Georgia’s president who led the former Soviet republic implementing a slew of pro-Western reforms from 2004 to 2013, Saakashvili is serving a six-year sentence for abuse of power, a charge he and his supporters say was politically motivated.

The former president has staged multiple hunger strikes while in prison and claims he has been poisoned. His health has drastically gone down the slope as he lost over 40 percent of his body weight since October 2021, according to health records shared by his political ally and family spokesman Giorgi Chaladze.

To Georgian officials, this is nothing but a simulation devised to gain early release. They said that they have provided adequate healthcare in a clinic in Tbilisi where he has been held for months.

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