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English Section

Poland strengthens security on Belarus border

18.08.2021 12:45
One thousand Polish soldiers have been dispatched to help the country's Border Guard deal with a surge in illegal migration from neighboring Belarus, an official has said.

“The border is sealed, and the Border Guard has been supported for a week by 1,000 Polish Army soldiers,” Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik said in a tweet late on Tuesday.

“We act quickly and effectively,” he added.

Earlier that day, Poland’s Government Information Center reported that in August alone, 1,935 people tried to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border.

“The Border Guard prevented 1,175 of those people from crossing the border, and 760 foreigners were detained,” the report said.

In recent months, the number of illegal migrants from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries on Belarus' borders with EU countries has sharply increased.

The largest number of people have so far gone to Lithuania, which has accused Belarus of organizing the smuggling of migrants into its territory as part of a “hybrid war,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Earlier this month, Poland accused Belarus of sending a growing number of migrants over the border in retaliation for Warsaw's decision to give refuge to Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics.

In a joint statement issued at the time, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his Lithuanian counterpart Ingrida Šimonytė said: “We condemn the weaponisation of irregular migration by the Lukashenko regime with a goal of exerting political pressure on the EU and its individual Member States.”


Source: PAP

Click on the "Play" button above for an audio report by Radio Poland’s Michał Owczarek.