Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has said France stands in solidarity with Poland and Estonia following meetings on Wednesday with the Polish and Estonian prime ministers in Paris, the Elysee Palace said in a communique.
Poland accuses Alexander Lukashenko, Belarusian president, of orchestrating a migration crisis on its borders with Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to destabilise Europe in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Brussels on Minsk.
Macron met Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday morning and Estonia’s Kaja Kallas in the afternoon.
“Europe cannot be a hostage of manipulation,” Macron said after the meetings. “We will continue to exert pressure on Alexander 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.
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.
“We also talked about Russian propaganda weapons, the dissemination of fake news, computer hacking and cyber-crime,” Morawiecki said.
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.
Kaja Kallas called for “strong sanctions” against Belarus and said pressure should be kept up on the countries of origin of migrants in Minsk to ensure there were no possibilities of fresh inflows.
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