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Can Poland finally close the border with Belarus?

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Radosław Sikorski, said on TVN24 about the possibility of Poland completely closing border crossings with Belarus by analogy with Finland:

According to the minister, "the actions of the Belarusian side" could be the reason for the closure of the crossings. "While we are studying the question of how much this will affect the Polish economy."

At the end of May, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced his intention to restore the barrier strip on the border with Belarus after an illegal migrant attacked a Polish soldier with a knife. Since the beginning of 2024, Polish border guards have recorded more than 15,000 attempts to cross the border illegally.

Representatives of the Belarusian democratic forces generally agree with the Polish minister, but with an important reservation. We need to close only the goods checkpoints to block freight traffic, but leave the border crossings open for passenger traffic.

This, in particular, was stated by Tikhanovskaya's deputy in the Cabinet of Ministers, Paulo Latushka: "I am in favor of closing all trade checkpoints in order to force Lukashenka to stop complicity in Russia's aggression against Ukraine, stop mass repressions against Belarusians and release political prisoners, stop the hybrid war using migrants against Poland and other EU countries. At the same time, it is important to preserve the possibility of Belarusian citizens crossing the border through passenger checkpoints. It is important to preserve the possibility of Belarusians to communicate with Europe"

Another deputy of Tsikhanovskaya in the cabinet, the representative of foreign affairs Valery Kovalevsky also drew attention to the fact that Poland's actions should harm the regime, but not the people. "Freight transport, largely unaffected by the crisis, is a fair target. However, the mobility of Belarusians needs to be ensured and strengthened by simplifying the issuance of visas and speeding up the crossing of EU borders by people. The physical connection of Belarusians with the European family of nations cannot be undermined, it must be strengthened."

What about the reaction of representatives of the Belarusian authorities? In general, expected. "It will hit the Poles hard, " said Oleg Haidukevich, commenting on this news, " to hide the truth, to aggravate the situation, to put all the responsibility for the problems in Poland on someone, but not on their government, they make such decisions."


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