Promise of military action needed on Poland-Belarus border says MP
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Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat has threatened Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko with an immediate NATO response if his Government continues to pressure Poland over the migrant crisis. European foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday to discuss possible sanctions against Belarus as the humanitarian crisis at its border deepens.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Mr Tugendhat said: “But look, the idea that Putin isn’t worried about the humanitarian situation doesn’t really surprise me.
“After all, this is somebody who shot down a civilian airliner only a few years ago, killing nearly 300 people.
“You know, this is somebody who has invaded half of Ukraine and put the number of people into the most extraordinarily perilous positions in the Donetsk region.
“You know, this is a leader who cares nothing for his own people.”
READ MORE: ‘We will be on those borders!’ US ready to deploy to Poland to stop ‘dangerous’ Belarus
Host Emily Maitlis asked: “I guess that’s the question I’m asking you really?
“I mean, with your position and with what you’ve seen, and no, presumably, you think that the only answer to this is a military one now?”
Mr Tugendhat replied: “ Well, no, I think the answer, I hope will not be military.
“But in order to avoid a military answer, we may need to make it absolutely clear that any intrusion into NATO will result in a NATO response.”
He went on: “This is the eastern border of NATO.
“And let’s not forget what an extraordinary win it is for the British people that our border doesn’t start over but actually starts with the eastern and southern borders of NATO.
“That’s a fantastic strategic depth that otherwise our island would find difficult to achieve.”
On Monday, hundreds of migrants were blocked at a crossing by Polish troops.
They were trapped between Polish guards on one side and Belarusian guards on the other.
Thousands of migrants, many from Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, have been gathered at the border in freezing temperatures for several weeks.
Belarus has been accused of allowing the crisis to escalate in a bid to undermine EU security.
The EU is trying to resolve the migrant situation by stepping up sanctions against Belarus in response.
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