Poland demands an emergency on the Belarusian border amid a surge in immigrants

File Photo: Polish police officers are guarding next to a group of migrants stuck on the Belarusian-Polish border near the village of Usnashgurny in Poland on August 26, 2021.Reuters / Copper Penpel

August 31, 2021

Warsaw (Reuters)-After the Polish border guard said hundreds of illegal crossings had taken place this month, the Polish government requested the president to declare an emergency in two areas of the Belarusian border on Tuesday.

Poland began building barbed wire fences along the border last week to curb the flow of immigrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan across Belarus.

An emergency will give authorities broader authority to monitor and control the movement of people.

President Andrzej Duda, a close ally of the ruling nationalist law and justice party (PiS), is likely to approve an emergency that will last for 30 days and cover parts of the Podrache and Lublin regions.

“The situation at the border with Belarus is at stake and still tense,” Prime Minister Mateush Morawicki announced at a press conference.

Relations between the European Union and Belarus have deteriorated sharply in the past year since President Alexander Lukashenko claimed victory in the elections.

The EU has imposed economic sanctions on Belarus and accused Lukashenko of deliberately encouraging him to travel to Poland and the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania in the form of a “hybrid war”.

“The Lukashenko administration has decided to push these people into the territory of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in order to destabilize them,” Morawicki said.

Interior Minister Mariush Kaminsky said the planned emergency applies primarily to the border or nearby areas.

Poland also sees Belarus’ actions in retaliation for Warsaw’s decision to evacuate to Belarusian athlete Krystsina Zimanoskaya, who refused to return from the Tokyo Olympics. Minsk has not responded to requests for comment.

Polish authorities are facing criticism from human rights groups for refusing to accept immigrants and refusing proper medical care for people at the border. Warsaw says they are the responsibility of the Belarusian authorities.

(Reported by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Alicja Ptak, Joanna Plucinska, edited by Gareth Jones)

Poland demands an emergency on the Belarusian border amid a surge in immigrants

Source link Poland demands an emergency on the Belarusian border amid a surge in immigrants

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