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Migrant pressure from Belarus on the rise: Polish security official

26.05.2023 09:00
Illegal migrants have stepped up their attempts to enter Poland via its border with Belarus in recent days, a senior Polish security official has said.
Stanisław Żaryn.
Stanisław Żaryn.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Stanisław Żaryn made the assessment on social media on Thursday evening, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He added that there have already been over 10,000 attempts at illegal entry into Poland from Belarus this year.   

Żaryn, who is the Polish government’s commissioner for the security of the national information space, said in a tweet: “In recent days, there has been a significant increase in the number of attempts to force the Poland-Belarus border. More and more foreigners are trying to reach Poland and go further to the West.”

He added: “This year, more than 10,000 such attempts have been reported.”

Earlier in the day, Poland’s Border Guard agency said its patrols had been attacked “on several occasions” by “groups of foreigners.”

Żaryn stated: “Increasingly serious acts of aggression against Polish patrols safeguarding the border are identified at Poland’s border with Belarus.” 

He added: “Groups of foreigners undertake their actions under control of Belarusian and Russian services.”

‘Russian-Belarusian hybrid operation to weaken NATO’

The senior security official also wrote: “From the very beginning the Polish government has indicated that what we observe on our border with Belarus is a hybrid operation managed by Belarussian and Russian services.”

Żaryn warned: “The objective of these actions is to weaken NATO and they are part of Russian aggression against the West.”

On Wednesday, 151 foreign individuals attempted to enter Poland illegally from Belarus, 60 of whom "turned back at the sight of Polish border patrols," Poland’s Border Guard agency said. 

The numbers on Thursday were 90 and 22 respectively, according to officials.

So far this year, Poland has detained 323 so-called “couriers” for organising illegal crossings from Belarus, the Border Guard said. 

Poland reinforces border with Belarus

To combat illegal crossings, Poland has built a 5.5-metre-high steel wall on a 186–kilometre stretch of the border with Belarus, as well as an “electronic barrier” made up of cameras and motion sensors on a 206-kilometre stretch of the Belarus border, the PAP news agency reported.  

In the northeastern Podlaskie region, all road border crossings with Belarus are closed until further notice, with only rail crossings in the villages of Kuźnica and Siemianówka remaining open, according to officials. 

In September 2021, Poland banned people from entering a 15-metre “border road belt” along the Belarus border, to stem illegal migration through what is also the external border of the European Union, the PAP news agency reported.  

Friday is day 457 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, niezalezna.pl