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Poland PM insists on state of emergency at border with Belarus due to migrant influx

Poland PM insists on state of emergency at border with Belarus due to migrant influx

The Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has asked the president to introduce a state of emergency (SoE)in some parts of the country. The regions next to the border with Belarus suffer from migrants influx as Poland faces a spike in illegal border crossings, PolandIn reports.

The state of emergency will last for 30 days, PM Morawiecki said and added that it will help to ensure the Polish borders ‘are tight and prevent such provocations by Lukashenko’.

Echoing PM’s opinion, interior minister Mariusz Kaminski said the decision was rather hard as this would be the first case when the government insists on the SoE in free Poland.

“We can’t afford to make exceptions – if we let those people in, we will have many more such situation as in Usnarz,” Kaminski said. “No one forces them to camp there, they are free to move along”.

Poland builds a barbed-wire fence on the border with Belarus

In its efforts to cope with the unexpected crisis, Poland began building a barbed-wire fence last week along the border with Belarus. According to the border patrol, the physical obstacle could curb the flow of migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan crossing from Belarus.

Meantime, Brussel has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of waging “hybrid warfare” with migrants to exert pressure on the European Union.

Poland also sees Belarus’s behaviour as retaliation for Warsaw’s decision to give refuge to Ms Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian athlete who refused to return home from the Tokyo Olympics. Minsk hasn’t commented on it yet.

Over the year, the Polish authorities are facing criticism from human rights groups for not accepting migrants, and for denying those at the border adequate medical care. Warsaw says they are the responsibility of the Belarusian authorities.