'Poland to close Belarus border crossing until further notice'
The already tense relations between Poland and Belarus were further strained on Wednesday when a journalist of Polish origin was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Belarusian court in a trial Warsaw says was politically motivated
WARSAW: Poland is to close a key border crossing with Belarus until further notice, the Polish interior minister said on Thursday, as relations between Warsaw and Minsk sink to new lows.
The already tense relations between Poland and Belarus were further strained on Wednesday when a journalist of Polish origin was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Belarusian court in a trial Warsaw says was politically motivated.
"Due to the important interest of state security, I decided to suspend until further notice from 1200 on Feb. 10 this year traffic at the Polish-Belarusian border crossing in Bobrowniki," Mariusz Kaminski wrote on Twitter.
Bobrowniki, more than 200 km northeast of Warsaw, is one of the key crossing points between Poland and Belarus. Kaminski also said that as a result of the jailing of journalist Andrzej Poczobut he would apply for further people connected with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to be added to sanctions lists.
The Belarusian foreign ministry and the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw could not immediately be reached for comment. Poland has become a key refuge for opponents of the Lukashenko regime, and Warsaw has become one of Ukraine's staunchest allies since Belarusian ally Russia invaded the country in February last year.
In 2021, Poland and the European Union said Minsk had engineered a migrant crisis on its borders, an accusation Belarus denies. More recently, Poland has condemned the vandalism of Polish graves in Belarus.
Thousands of people of Polish origin live in Belarus as the west of the country was Polish territory until the borders were redrawn after World War Two.