EU ‘shot itself in the foot’ over border failure during Belarus-Poland stand off

Belarus-Poland: EU has ‘shot itself in foot’ says commentator

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EU bosses have been slammed for failing to get bloc members to agree on a united policy on border security amid the emerging migrant crisis on the border of Poland. AFP News Editor Dave Clark told France 24 that Brussels has “shot itself in the foot” for not passing a common border policy that would have seen member states coordinate a plan to take in migrants. He warned that Belarus and Russia were now looking to take advantage of the lack of European unity. 

Mr Clark told France 24: It’s good that the European Union is standing up now, and they’ve only got themselves to blame if this is the crisis they found themselves in.

“We know who Lukashenko is, we know who Vladimir Putin is and yet somehow, we’ve just deepened our reliance on natural gas coming from Russia, some of it via Belarus, and we failed for a decade now to develop some kind of core common border policy that could absorb what is only 2000 Iraqi Kurds or so in the forest of eastern Poland.

“You know, they could all be absorbed tomorrow fairly simply but the European Union for years has just shot itself in the foot on border policy, and our enemies and let’s be clear about this Putin and Lukashenko opponents of the European Union of NATO of the Transatlantic Alliance and solidarity in the rest of Europe, the enemies have spotted our weak points.

“which we’ve only deepened over the years, our inability to deal with migrants and to set up a humane and shared system of dealing with them and our increasing reliance on natural gas supplies from Russia which clearly going to be used as a political tool against us.”

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On Friday a German news outlet reported Polish troops had resorted to “weird” tactics in the struggle to clear migrants from the EU easternmost border.

DW News Brussels correspondent Jack Parrock has recalled being encircled by Polish soldiers close the exclusion zone near the Polish-Berlusian border.

He described the troops surrounding the cars of his camera crew and the migrant activists the reporter was travelling with. 

Mr Parrock told DW News: “The information is very difficult to access.

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“I’ll just give you a short example of what happened to our filming team this evening we were called by a group of activists who go out into the forest when they’re called by the refugees and migrants for emergency help.

“They told us to meet at a point that was outside of the exclusion zone, we met them, and shortly after, because of the increased military presence here in the border region, our cars were encircled by Polish soldiers.

“They didn’t actually talk to us, but it was enough to scare the activists that we’re going to take us to meet these people in the forest.

He added: “And enough for them to say listen, we’re not going to go and find these people who had told them that they were in dire need of support.

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“The situation is extremely difficult.

“It is very, very cold here and it’s only getting colder.

“Many of these people have been in that forest for days on end, drinking from puddles in the floor, and with scarce access to food.”

 Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have all warned that Belarus posed serious threats to European security by deliberately escalating its “hybrid attack” of forcing migrants across the border with Poland.

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