French president expresses solidarity with Poland over border crisis

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has said his country stands in solidarity with Poland and Estonia, following meetings with the prime ministers of the aforementioned states in Paris on Wednesday.

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Mr Macron met with Poland's Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday morning and Estonia's Kaja Kallas in the afternoon.

"Europe cannot be a hostage of manipulation," the French president said after the meetings.

"We will continue to exert pressure on Aliaksandr Lukashenko to put an end to these unacceptable practices. We must also ensure that people threatened by his policy and strategy could make use of humanitarian support thanks to cooperation with their countries of origin aimed at organising their return. Our strategy is solidarity and defence of Europe's external border," the French president continued.

PM Morawiecki talked with Macron about the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border and the build-up of Russian forces near the Ukrainian border as well Russia's apparent manipulation of gas prices, which has caused gas prices to rise across Europe.

Emmanuel Macron also talked to Morawiecki about the need for "the free access of media on the Polish side of the border," the Elysee Palace said. The press in Poland is banned from reporting in an area on the Belarusian border covered by a state of emergency introduced on September 2.