The Polish government is mulling over imposing an emergency to stop migrant crossing from its neighbouring Belarus as the EU accuses Belarus of deliberately pushing migrants to member states.
Poland moved on Tuesday towards declaring a state of emergency in two border regions with Belarus after hundreds of illegal migrants crossed into its territory last month.
The government has formally asked President Andrzej Duda to impose a state of emergency for 30 days in parts of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie regions, and the president is expected to approve the request.
The Polish government demands the declaration for the potential risk from foreign actors and possible actions of demonstrators.
If Duda approves, it would be the first time that Poland has declared a state of emergency on any part of its territory since the fall of communism.
Poland began building a barbed wire fence last week along the border in an effort to curb the flow of migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan crossing from Belarus.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has continued accusations that Belarus was deliberately encouraging the migrants to cross into Polish territory, while human rights groups said Warsaw must provide more humanitarian aid to those stranded on the border.
“The situation on the border with Belarus is a crisis,” Morawiecki told reporters on Tuesday at a news conference.
“We have to stop these aggressive hybrid actions, which are carried out according to a script written in Minsk and sponsored by Lukashenko.”
The state of emergency is planned to cover 183 separate towns and villages along the border with Belarus.
It also would ban any kind of demonstration and would mandate carrying identification for anyone within the country. However, Polish authorities said the declaration won’t affect daily life.
President Duda, who is an ally of the government, said he will urgently take the request into consideration, and hinted to support the request.
“Please expect Poland’s security to be strengthened in the nearest time through acts of law, and also through subsequent actions on Poland’s border,” Duda said.
The government needs an approval from the parliament in order to impose an emergency and the president is confident about its approval.
Not only Poland has been suffering the illegal migrant crossing, but also Lithuania and Latvia are experiencing it, too.
The European Union countries have previously accused Belarus of conducting “a direct attack” by pushing asylum seekers across its border. The union also says Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko orchestrated the arrival of thousands of people at the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in retaliation for sanctions imposed on the former Soviet republic.
Interior ministers of the 27-nation EU said in a statement to be issued after an emergency meeting that Belarus was seeking to “instrumentalise human beings for political purposes”.
“This aggressive behaviour … is unacceptable and amounts to a direct attack aimed at destabilizing and pressurizing the EU,” they said in the statement seen by Reuters.
Just for the EU member Lithuania, at least 4,100 migrants, dominantly from Iraq, have entered its territory from neighbouring Belarus this year.
The number of illegal crossings has started to increase since June when the EU imposed sanctions on the Belarusian economy to respond to “the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus and the violent repression of civil society, democratic opposition and journalists as well as to the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May 2021 and the related detention of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega.”
Source: TRT World