All roads blocked between Poland and neighbouring Belarus as tensions flare

Traffic was brought to a standstill at the border between Poland and Belarus on Tuesday as authorities moved to close all roads between the two countries.

The Polish Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that Minsk sacked three Polish officials after reports emerged that a Polish border guard and two members of the Polish Consulate in the border city of Hrodna had been expelled.

It comes as ethnic Polish journalist Andrzey Poczubut, a critic of Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's regime, was jailed two weeks ago for eight years, a move which has once again stoked tensions between the neighbouring countries.

Poland’s initial response was to close the Bobrowniki border crossing, one of two direct land routes for trucks and motorists. It has also withdrawn its consuls from the Belarus cities of Grodno and Minsk.

Belarus has banned Polish trucks from entering the country via Lithuania or Latvia.

Polish authorities said Minsk is still pushing thousands of migrants into Poland.

In 2021, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia accused Lukashenko of using migration as a means to destabilise the EU after tens of thousands of migrants attempted to cross over from Belarus amid freezing conditions.

Poland reinforced its borders with a new 186-kilometre border fence in June 2022.