Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko's goals are to create confusion, divide the EU and gain legitimacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Jonatan Vseviov has said.
Speaking on ETV's weekly foreign affairs program "Välisilm" broadcast on Monday, Vseviov said the Belarusian regime wants to create a crisis and does not want to help migrants.
Although the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border has calmed down in recent days, it is too early to draw definitive conclusions, he said.
The official said the purpose of the hybrid attack on Poland and the EU's external border has three strands.
"To confuse us, to try to divide us [the EU] and give legitimacy to Lukashenko and thus to escape sanctions," Vseviov explained.
He said only the strengthening of sanctions will stop Lukashenko.
"Our policy has been to create clarity, to show unity and to show that such an attack will only lead to a tightening of sanctions," he said.
"Whether that's enough or not, time will tell. But I believe that the attacker's calculation and the end of the attack will ultimately only be affected if he sees that he is not achieving his goal and can only harm himself if he continues to do so."
The European Union's foreign ministers agreed to create the fifth package of sanctions against Lukashenko on November 15. They are currently being finalized and will affect people and businesses who have facilitated the illegal crossing of the EU's border.
Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said they should be implemented by the end of the month.
Editor: Helen Wright