EU border CRUMBLING: Bloc forced to act as crisis erupts – emergency measures announced

Belarus-Poland: Migrants detained attempting border crossing

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The European Parliament will discuss the EU Council’s proposed decision on provisional emergency measures for the bloc’s external borders with Belarus based on the triggering of Article 78(3) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

The measures were first triggered during the 2015 migration crisis to relocate 160,000 people from Italy and Greece to ensure a fair and balanced distribution of asylum seekers in the bloc.

The Article reads: “In the event of one or more member states being confronted by an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of nationals of third countries, the Council, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt provisional measures for the benefit of the member state(s) concerned.

“It shall act after consulting the European Parliament.”

The move would aim to resolve the humanitarian migratory crisis at the borders between Poland, Latvia and Lithuania with Belarus.

The three EU states have seen a steep rise in the flow of people from Middle East and Africa seeking to cross its borders from Belarus this year, in a migration crisis the European Union says is being orchestrated by Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko.

The Belarusian leader denies the allegations.

Last week, US President Joe Biden promised Central European NATO members more military support as concern grows over a Russian troop build-up on the border with Ukraine, Lithuania’s presidential adviser said.

Mr Biden also reassured the allies that Washington would not reach any agreement with Russia about the region behind their backs, adviser Asta Skaisgiryte told reporters.

The US President had spoken by phone to the leaders of NATO countries along the alliance’s border with Russia, Belarus and Ukraine – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria.

Without naming possible locations, Ms Skaisgiryte said: “He said additional reassurance elements are possible in these countries, and additional military capabilities.”

Russia has amassed troops on its border with Ukraine, where Kremlin-backed rebels have been fighting the Kiev government, raising fears that it might be preparing to invade.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied he intends to attack Ukraine, but he has bridled against what he sees as NATO’s eastward expansion and the deployment of military hardware close to its border.

On Sunday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his government is committed to safeguarding Ukraine’s role as a transit route for gas into Europe, as Russian troop movements along the Ukrainian border increased pressure on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

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Nord Stream 2, which would carry Russian gas to Germany and bypass Ukraine, has not been certified due to regulatory hurdles, while Poland and the United States have demanded a halt to the pipeline should Russia invade Ukraine.

Germany’s new government, sworn in on Wednesday, has not made a public commitment to block it.

During his first visit to Poland as chancellor, Mr Scholz said Germany felt responsible for ensuring that Ukraine’s gas transit business was successful, echoing his predecessor Angela Merkel.

He said: “The same goes for future opportunities.

“We will also help Ukraine be a country that will be a major source of renewable energy and the necessary production that results from that. We are in concrete talks around how we can help achieve that.”

Mrs Merkel had said the political basis for operating Nord Stream 2 was Russia’s commitment to continue to use Ukraine as a gas transit route.

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