Latvian and Polish PMs discuss Belarus border question

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On Sunday, November 21, the Prime Minister of Latvia Krišjānis Kariņš met with the Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, who was visiting Rīga as part of an express tour of the Balic states to co-ordinate the response to the crisis fomented by Belarus' self-declared ruler, Alexander Lukashenko.

After the meeting, the prime ministers gave a statement to media, which can be viewed below. Both leaders stressed that the actions of the Belarus regime constitute a co-ordinated hybrid attack against their states and the European Union as a whole. 

"If the Belarusian government regime thought that they could somehow destabilize or fragment Europe, this effort has failed," said Kariņš, adding that on the contrary, the attack has concentrated European minds and made co-operation even closer, particularly between Poland and the Baltic states at ministerial and prime ministerial levels.

"Basically we are saying a big 'No!' to this hybrid attack," Kariņš said.

"We are united and we will remain united." The solution to the current problem is "very simple" and consists in repatriating the third-country nationals being used to pressure the EU's external border, he said.

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Morawiecki also placed the blame for the border situation squarely at Lukashenko's door and provided a reminder that the region constitutes NATO's eastern flank as well as the EU's eastern border. The Lukashenko regime is using people from the Middle East as "weapons", and recent hours had even seen some of these people being moved by the Belarus authorities from the Polish border to the borders of the Baltic states, with the Lukashenko regime effectively operating a distrubution network of people, he said. 

The pair also discussed the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, worrying signs of increased Russian military activity near the Ukrainian border and Russian disinformation campaigns in western countries, Morawiecki said.


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