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‘No reason to allow Russians fleeing Putin's draft into Poland’: deputy MoD

23.09.2022 22:15
A Polish deputy defence minister has cautioned against opening borders to Russian citizens fleeing Vladimir Putin’s call-up for the invasion of Ukraine.
Wiceminister obrony narodowej Marcin Ociepa o bezpieczeństwie Polski: musimy być gotowi na najgorsze
Wiceminister obrony narodowej Marcin Ociepa o bezpieczeństwie Polski: musimy być gotowi na najgorszePolskie Radio 24

Marcin Ociepa made the comment in a TV interview on Friday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

Security risk

The deputy defence minister told private broadcaster Polsat News: “Such an operation may represent an ideal opportunity for Russia’s security services to trick countries into admitting foreign agents posing as deserters or refugees.”

Ociepa noted that Poland and the Baltic states had recently moved to limit entry of Russian citizens through their borders, in the interests of national security.

“There must be serious justification for a country to relax its migration rules,” he said.  

‘No reason to allow them into EU’

The deputy defence minister added that those fleeing the mobilisation had not left Russia earlier and “weren’t protesting when mass graves were being discovered” in Ukraine. 

Ociepa stated that Russians escaping Putin’s mobilisation “can head to neighbouring Mongolia or Kazakhstan,” adding that “there is no reason whatsoever to allow them into European Union territory.”

Putin’s mobilisation order

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday mobilised 300,000 reservists to assist in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threatened to use nuclear weapons to defend his country. 

However, the text of the mobilisation order has been left vague and partly classified, seemingly allowing it to be expanded if necessary, according to British broadcaster the BBC.

The independent outlet Meduza on Friday reported that the Russian authorities “plan to conscript 1.2 million people for their ‘partial mobilisation,’" citing a source close to one of Russia’s federal ministries.  

The call-up sparked mass protests across the country, including in Moscow and St Petersburg, resulting in some 1,300 arrests, according to cnbc.com.

Meanwhile, many Russian men of fighting age were scrambling to flee the country to avoid being called up by recruiting officers in Russia’s first military mobilisation since World War II, the BBC reported.

Friday was day 212 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, bbc.com, novayagazeta.eu, meduza.io, cnbc.com