German and Belarusian leaders discussed ways to provide humanitarian aid and take measures to prevent the migrant crisis on the Belarus-Poland border from escalating.

The European Union vowed  to press ahead with sanctions targeting the regime of Lukashenko.
The European Union vowed to press ahead with sanctions targeting the regime of Lukashenko. (Reuters)

Germany and France's discussions with Belarusian and Russian presidents have signaled the states' willingness towards calming tensions amid an escalating migrant crisis at the Polish border.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that tensions on the Poland-Belarus border where migrants have been massing had to be de-escalated, Macron's office said on Monday.

After a telephone conversation lasting one hour and 45 minutes between Macron and Putin, the Elysee palace said that "it is our hope that this long conversation will yield results in the coming days".

Putin promised Macron that "he will raise the topic" with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, the Elysee said.

"The goal of this call was to put an end to this crisis," an adviser to Macron told reporters after the 1 hour and 45 minute call Macron initiated.

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Lukshenko, Merkel discuss de-escalation

On the same day, Lukashenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked by phone, according to a social media post by reporters for Belarus state media.

The leaders discussed the refugee crisis at the border, ways to provide humanitarian aid and measures to prevent the crisis from escalating. 

They have agreed to further contacts, the report said.

The talks were the first contact between the Belarusian president and a Western leader since Lukashenko claimed victory in Belarus presidential elections in August 2020, igniting the biggest street protests in the history of the state.

Tensions have soared since last week as coordinated efforts by migrants to cross from Belarus into EU member Poland were thwarted by Polish border guards.

The West is seeking to stop what it says is a policy by Belarus to push migrants towards the European Union to pressure it to end sanctions imposed over Belarus' crackdown on protests last year against Lukashenko's contested re-election.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies