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Visa waiver for art festival in Belarus may renew pressure on Polish border: security official

02.06.2023 15:00
A visa waiver for people visiting Belarus for an art festival in July could serve as an entry point for migrants and thus renew pressure on the Polish border, a senior Polish security official has said.
Stanisław Żaryn.
Stanisław Żaryn.PAP/Zofia Bichniewicz

"A potential new reason for attracting migrants from high-risk countries to Belarus could be the International Art Festival 'Slavonic Bazaar' in Vitebsk," Stanisław Żaryn, a senior official at the Polish Prime Minister's Office, said in a series of tweets on Thursday.

Under Belarus dictator Lukashenko's decree, event participants and guests from 73 countries (including the Middle East, Africa and Latin America) were "exempted from visa requirements for entry into Belarus."
Żaryn, who is the Polish government's pointman for cyberspace security, said that the waiver “may lead to an increase in the influx of people to Belarus, which Lukashenko's services will use to intensify the hybrid operation conducted on our eastern border.”

Poland has built a 5.5-meter-high steel wall on a 186–kilometer stretch of the border with Belarus, as well as an “electronic barrier” made up of cameras and motion sensors on a 206-kilometer stretch of the Belarus border to combat illegal crossings.


Source: PAP