Germany today urged the European Union to help Poland protect its borders as thousands of irregular migrants seek to enter the country from Belarus.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer accused Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko of engaging in a form of "hybrid" warfare and using migrants as a weapon to destabilise European countries.
"We must help the Polish government secure the [Europe's] external border," he told Bild daily, urging the European Commission to take action.
"All EU member states have to stand together, because Lukashenko, with the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is using the fate of people to destabilize the West," he said.
Seehofer said neither Poland nor Germany can cope alone with a new, major refugee crisis.
In recent months nearly 9,000 migrants have arrived in Germany after illegally crossing the Polish-Belarusian border, according to the Interior Ministry.
Tensions between Poland and Belarus escalated yesterday after nearly 4,000 migrants, mostly from the Middle East countries, headed to the Polish border and tried to breach the barriers.
Polish border guards, police and soldiers used tear gas to deter those who tried to break through the barbed-wire fences.