Home World Thousands of migrants massed at the Polish border

Thousands of migrants massed at the Polish border

Thousands of migrants massed at the Polish border

According to the Polish government, between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants are currently massed near the border, on the Belarus side. The latter “have set up a camp near Kuznica. They are permanently guarded by the Belarusian services, ”the Polish Defense Minister said on Twitter. He specifies that “the forces of the Ministry of the Interior and the soldiers succeeded in stopping the first attempt to cross the border en masse”.

Polish border police posted videos on Twitter showing migrants, mostly from the Middle East, armed with cutters and branches trying to force their way across the border, bristling with sharp barbed wire, while uniformed Polish policemen riot control.

Belarusian secret services accused

“We fear that there may not be an escalation of this type of actions at the Polish border in the near future and of an armed nature,” Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller told reporters, again accusing people “linked to the Belarusian secret services” to be behind these attempts to smuggle migrants illegally.

In Warsaw, a government crisis cell, in which Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, as well as the Interior and Defense ministers, met in the early afternoon. “We are preparing for all scenarios,” Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski wrote on Twitter.

An “instrumentalisation of migrants for political purposes”

Brussels accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of orchestrating the arrival of this wave of migrants and refugees in response to European sanctions decided upon after the brutal repression suffered by the opposition. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Monday called on EU member states to give their green to new sanctions.

“The instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes is unacceptable,” she said in a statement. In addition to an extension of the sanctions against the Minsk regime, she stressed that the European Union “will examine how to sanction airlines from third countries” which transport migrants to Belarus.

The European Commission called in support

Similar reaction from the United States which “strongly condemns the political exploitation and manipulation of vulnerable people by the Belarusian regime”, through the voice of the spokesman for American diplomacy, Ned Price. “The use of migrants by the Lukashenko regime as a hybrid tactic is unacceptable,” NATO also warned, calling on Belarus to “respect international law”.

For its part, Germany called on the European Union on Tuesday to “form a common front” to deal with the situation, assuring through the voice of its Minister of the Interior, Horst Seehofer, that “Poland or Germany will not cannot cope with this on their own ”. “We must help the Polish government to secure its external border. This should be the business of the European Commission. I now call on him to take action, ”he insisted.

Charges swept aside by Belarusian authorities

“All these people, including women and children, pose no security threat and are not aggressive,” retorted Belarusian border guard Anton Bychkovsky. Belarusian border guards had previously confirmed in a statement that “a large group of refugees carrying personal belongings were (moving) along the highway towards the border with Poland.”

“According to these refugees, they have come together to form a group large enough to prevent their forced deportation from Poland and to draw the attention of the international community to the lack of respect for human rights in Poland,” Anton added. Bychovsky. However, Polish media have broadcast interviews with migrants contradicting this version and explaining that Belarusians are forcing them to cross the border.

The situation has deteriorated since the end of August and has prompted Poland to erect a barbed wire fence and establish a state of emergency preventing the presence of media in the area, in addition to massing thousands of soldiers. At least ten migrants have died so far in the region, including seven on the Polish side of the border, according to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

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