aIn the face of a constant influx of migrants, the Polish parliament extended a state of emergency at the border with neighboring Belarus by two months until the end of November. Representatives of the House of Representatives agreed on Thursday evening for the second time to extend the period for 60 days. Previously, President Andrei Duda made a request to this effect.
The leadership surrounding Belarusian Governor Alexander Lukashenko accused the neighboring country of “disinformation” on Friday. Border guards in Minsk claimed that people smugglers were operating in Poland, which is why access to the border there was prohibited. The authority posted videos for this purpose.
During Thursday night’s debate in the House of Representatives, Paul Soluch, the head of the National Security Office, stated that nearly 7,000 immigrants attempted to cross the border illegally in this region in September alone. In September of the previous year there were about 120. With his decision to extend the state of emergency, “pressure organized by the Belarusian regime to destabilize the European Union” must be faced, according to a tweet from the House of Representatives.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced that the border guards will support 2,400 soldiers. According to the authorities, there have been more than 10,000 attempts to cross the border illegally since August alone. It added that 1,500 migrants were arrested and taken to refugee centers.
The government in Warsaw accuses Lukashenko of moving refugees from crisis areas such as Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq to the external borders of the European Union in an orderly manner. The authorities in Belarus accuse the West of creating chaos in the regions, which is why people are now looking for a better life. Lukashenko announced at the end of May that Belarus would not prevent migrants from continuing to travel to the European Union – in response to tough Western sanctions against the former Soviet republic.
Aid organizations suspect that Polish border guards are sending most of the migrants back to Belarus. This is difficult to verify due to the emergency at the border, as journalists and aides are not allowed to drive into the area.
“They were simply unconsciously dropped on Belarusian soil”
EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson urged Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski, according to her own version, at a meeting Thursday evening in Warsaw to allow journalists to enter the border area. The Belarusian approach requires a decisive response from the European Union. A spokesperson for the Brussels Authority said Johansson had also expressed concern about reports that Polish officials might turn back illegal immigrants.
Belarusian border guards complained that the Polish authorities were brutally deporting people. “They were simply deposited on Belarusian territory without knowledge,” the agency said. It is not possible to conduct an independent review of these allegations.
The head of the Belarusian State Security Council, Alexander Wolfovich, said that people from many countries can enter Minsk airport without a visa. “Many of them do not hide the fact that their final destination is the developed countries of Europe,” he was quoted by the state-run Belta Agency as saying. Especially Germany, France and Great Britain are interesting for immigrants.
The situation is also noticeable at the German-Polish border
The German Federal Police reported an increase in the number of migrants at the German-Polish border. By the end of September, the Federal Police had arrested a total of 1,556 unauthorized people, the Federal Police Directorate in Berlin announced on Friday. Accordingly, the focus was on the months of August with 225 cases and September with 1305 cases. The refugees came mainly from Iraq as well as from Syria, Iran and Yemen.
“The management of immigration status in the context of intensive internal border checks is currently the main operational focus of the Federal Police Directorate in Berlin,” the police authorities said. In one case, 40 people were found on Thursday near Frankfurt an der Oder, smuggled into an unsecured truck loading area. 34 men and six women were arrested and the smuggler was arrested.
In another case, according to witness testimony, 41 people from Iraq and Syria, including a woman and two children, were discovered on a federal road in Raju. They were also smuggled in the back of a pickup truck. The smuggler was arrested.