German minister thanks Poland for protecting EU border

Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has written a letter to his Polish counterpart Mariusz Kamiński to thank the Polish Border Guard for protecting the EU border with Belarus, but suggested that Poland should seek the assistance of EU border agency Frontex.

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Horst Seehofer wrote in a letter to Mariusz Kaminski on Tuesday that Germany has also been experiencing the problem of illegal migrants from the Middle East arriving in the EU through Belarus.

“With particular regard to the difficult political conditions in relations with Belarus, I would like to thank you and the Polish Border Guard for protecting our common external border,” Mr Seehofer wrote. The German minister suggested Poland and Germany should strengthen Polish-German patrolling along the Polish-German border to stem illegal migration.

“Keeping in mind the undoubtedly significant burden on the Polish Border Guard at the border with Belarus, I would like to propose, to this end, a significantly larger involvement of Federal Police officers,” the German minister suggested. Mr Seehofer also said Germany can provide logistics support in accommodating migrants and refugees.

He also suggested making use of Frontex support “in the face of further challenges connected with the inflow of migrants.”

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused the government of Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the Belarusian president, of bringing migrants from the Middle East and then pushing them across the EU border in an effort to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels imposed on Minsk. The Polish border guard has been reporting hundreds of foiled attempts of illegal entry from Belarus every day. Still, increasing numbers of migrants are being reported to have successfully crossed the Polish territory heading towards Western Europe.

Poland has not yet asked Frontex for help, claiming it can handle the situation on its own.