1. EU urged to stand firm against ‘desperate and illegitimate’ Belarus
The European Union must be “firm and united” against the “desperate and illegitimate” administration of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his continued attempts to destabilise the bloc, Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for home affairs, told Euronews.
Her comments follow a surge of attempted illegal crossings on Monday at the Poland-Belarus border, with hundreds of migrants arriving overnight. The incident has led to international condemnation from the EU, US and NATO and renewed threats of sanctions.
Brussels believes the Belarusian regime is encouraging migrants from countries such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Cameroon to board flights to Minsk, where they are given visas and accommodation and then told to head towards the Polish border.
2. Polish Minister of Interior and Administration: If we do not stand firm, we will be flooded with a wave of illegal immigration
If we do not stand firm, we will be flooded with a wave of illegal migration with all the political and social consequences, said Minister of Interior and Administration Mariusz Kamiński in the Sejm.
The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration informed that about 1,500 people tried to break the state borders by force on Monday. “These efforts have been and will be ineffective. We have sufficient forces and resources to counteract illegal, aggressive attempts to cross the border effectively,” he assured.
Kamiński added that there are currently 2,000-4,000 illegal immigrants in the border area who will make more attempts to attack our border in the near future. There are about 15,000 such people across Belarus. Every week, about 40 planes arrive in Minsk, transporting approximately 2,000 migrants. Most of the flights depart from the territory of Turkey.
The goals of the regimes
Mariusz Kamiński made it clear that Vladimir Putin was the primary person responsible for the crisis. What is Russia planning to get in this game?
“Russia has its long-range goals. It wants to destabilize the situation in the European Union, and this is an attempt to continue destabilizing Central and Eastern Europe. These are the strategic goals of the Russians. They want an instrument of blackmailing Europe,” the minister explained.
Alexander Lukashenko sets various goals for himself. “He desires to take revenge for the support that Poland and Lithuania gave to Belarusian society after the rigged elections in Belarus. He wants to force Poland, Lithuania, and the European Union to talk. He wants to be a partner. He wants sanctions on Belarus lifted,” said Kamiński.
Next, the minister emphasized that foreigners had entered Belarus legally at the invitation of Belarusian “tourist offices” by the Belarusian security services. “If we cave in, we will be flooded with a wave of illegal migration with all the political and social consequences,” he warned.
An appeal for unity
Towards the end of his speech, the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration drew attention to one more common goal of both dictators. “The goal is the maximum internal conflict between us, between our society and politicians. We must oppose this together. I am appealing for unity. If you are unable to support us, then do not disturb us. Let’s stop looking at the approval ratings for political parties,” Kamiński thundered from the rostrum.
The minister-coordinator of secret services also argued that Poland has tried to respond to events in advance. He informed that the first steps to secure the border were taken in July.
“We will not allow Poland to be turned into a helpless state that will be a route of illegal migration,” declared Mariusz Kamiński at the end.
3. Merkel called Putin regarding Poland Belarus border crisis
According to “Deutsche Welle”, in a telephone conversation with Putin, the German chancellor emphasized that “the utilization of migrants against the European Union by the Belarusian regime is inhumane and unacceptable”. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Angela Merkel had asked Vladimir Putin to “influence the Minsk regime”.
Merkel herself initiated the conversation. The Russian president suggested that the European Union talk directly to the Belarusian government in order to find a solution.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the accusations that Russia had anything to do with the conflict as “absolutely inappropriate”. At the same time, he assured that Russia would support the brotherly state in its confrontation with the West.
4. Should Brussels fund border walls at EU frontiers?
As the crisis at the EU’s border with Belarus intensifies, so do calls for Brussels to fund border walls aimed at stopping illegal migrant crossings.
A shift in opinions
In October, twelve member states including, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, sent a four-page letter calling on the European Commission to “additionally and adequately” fund physical barriers at the EU’s borders as a “matter of priority”, in response to Lukashenko’s escalation that month which saw more than 12,000 attempts to cross the Polish frontier, according to the country’s border authorities.
5. Central Europe’s V4? More like V2+V2
The image of a homogeneous V4 was reinforced during the 2015 migration crisis when the four countries seemed to oppose the EU’s idea of obligatory migrant quotas. But even back then, their unity was more rhetorical than substantial. Slovakia and Hungary attacked the European Commission’s decision in court, but the Czech Republic and Poland (back then, with Donald Tusk as a Prime Minister) did not.
There are other serious dividing lines; Poland, for example, is one of the most hawkish countries within the European Union towards Russia, while Hungary is the most friendly toward Vladimir Putin’s regime.
6. Polish tech giant Allegro buys Czech Mall Group for 881 million euro.
Allegro, one of the largest European e-commerce platforms, will take over the Czech e-commerce leader Mall Group and the WeDo logistics company. The Polish giant will pay €881 million for the deal. The value of the transaction is €925 million, but debt and other such items are deducted from the price. The selling party includes PPF Group, Rockaway Capital, and EC Investments.
The final price can be further increased by up to €50 million, depending on the performance of the Mall Group.
7. Archbishop Vigano Writes Stunning Letter on Vaccine Program