Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Polish Press Agency on Sunday that the three countries were in talks on whether to trigger the article, which calls for consultation when “the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”
A NATO official said last week that the military alliance was monitoring the escalating situation and that “NATO allies stand in full solidarity with Poland and other allies affected by Belarus’ instrumentalization of migrants.”
Zdanowicz said there had been “forced mass attempts to cross the border” in the Kuznica area by a group of 60 people on Sunday night. Those who tried to cross behaved “aggressively,” according to the border guard service. They threw stones and branches at Polish border police, she said, adding that weapons were being “pointed towards our servicemen” and a “flare gun” was fired towards them.
More people were heading to the area on Monday. A CNN team witnessed thousands of people in the Bruzgi migrant camp in Belarus pick up their bags and start moving towards the Polish border on Monday morning.
A rumor started circulating in the camp that the Polish government might open the border and allow a humanitarian corridor through to Germany. Poland has adamantly denied this and people amassed in the area have received text messages from Polish authorities saying the information was a “total lie and nonsense.” The SMS message, also received by members of the CNN team in the area, reads in part: “Poland won’t let migrants pass to Germany. It will protect its border. Don’t get fooled, don’t try to take any action.”
Belarus’ State Border Committee said the people moving towards the border have “purely peaceful intentions,” according to Belarus state media BelTA.
“The refugees gathered warm clothes, tents, sleeping bags, hoping for a positive outcome of the situation. By noon, they self-organized into a large column and began to move towards the Bruzgi checkpoint,” Anton Bychkovsky, the official representative of the border committee, was quoted as saying.
“Today we are going to approve a new package of sanctions against Belarusian people responsible for what’s happening … and we are going to launch a framework in order to implement other sanctions to other people, airlines, travel agencies and everybody involved on this illegal push of migrants in our borders,” he said.
Borrell said he spoke to the Belarusian foreign minister over the weekend, telling him “the situation on the border was completely unacceptable and that humanitarian help was needed.”
He said the European Union is “at the time being not talking about military” being deployed.
German foreign minister Heiko Maas warned that flyover rights and landing slots could be denied to airlines that continue to transport refugees to Minsk. Maas also praised Turkey for stopping further flow of people into Belarus.
“All airlines should follow the example of Turkish Airlines and others and stand against Lukashenko’s human trafficking business. There will be severe sanctions imposed on all of those who will not comply,” Maas said on Sunday.
CNN’s Katharina Krebs in Moscow and Allegra Goodwin and Niamh Kennedy in London contributed reporting.