Large group of migrants from Belarus to Poland

The situation is coming to a head on the border between Belarus and Poland. Poland’s government warns large numbers of people may try to break the border.

Minsk / Warsaw – According to the authorities in Belarus, several hundred migrants set out on foot to the border with the neighboring EU country Poland.

The photos showed how people from different countries of origin carried their belongings in larger groups. According to a report by the state news agency Belta, the border guards of the authoritarian-led ex-Soviet republic declared that they had taken “all necessary measures” to ensure security. Poland, in turn, announced that it would strengthen protection at the EU’s external border.

From the point of view of the Polish government, the migrants could try to break through the border near the town of Kuznica Bialostocka. “According to the latest information, this huge group of migrants is under the control of armed Belarusian forces who decide where to go and where not,” wrote intelligence coordinator Stanislaw Zaryn on Twitter. He spoke of another hostile action by the neighboring country against Poland. The Polish government therefore convened a crisis team.

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko sees himself being criticized for having people flown in from various crisis regions in order to smuggle them into the EU. In response to sanctions against his country, he had declared that he would no longer stop people on their way to a better life in the “cozy West”. There have already been several migrant deaths in the border region. The EU states Poland and Lithuania have reported thousands of border crossings in the past few months. Germany is considered a main destination for migrants.

According to information from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, an average of around 170 migrants came to Germany every day via Poland. There was no further increase, said ministry spokesman Steve Alter. The number of asylum applications has not increased either. In October – without taking into account the children of people seeking protection who were born in Germany – 11,586 people applied for asylum for the first time, 4.6 percent fewer than in the previous month.

“That could lead to the conclusion that our measures are at least partially effective,” said Alter of the German press agency. The acting Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) is still of the opinion that irregular migration “will remain a major issue”. The CDU / CSU parliamentary group wants to introduce a proposal to the Bundestag on Thursday on the situation on the German-Polish border. Seehofer has proposed to Poland that the joint strips should be intensified. Stationary border controls by the federal police are not yet planned.

Poland’s government spokesman Piotr Müller told the PAP news agency that on Monday the most difficult situation since Lukashenko’s actions against Poland could arise on the border with Belarus. More border guards will be sent to the appropriate section. In addition, they are in constant contact with the EU border protection agency Frontex. The Department of Defense released aerial photographs showing a large crowd near the border.

Additional number of troops in Lithuania

Lithuania is also increasing its protective measures. “We are preparing for all possible scenarios,” said border guard chief Rustamas Liubajevas. There were also meetings with the army. “We plan to put an additional number of troops on standby,” said Liubajevas.

The EU has not recognized Lukashenko as head of state of Belarus (formerly Belarus) since the controversial presidential election last year. The “last dictator in Europe”, as critics call him, is supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin on Monday welcomed the authorities’ actions in relation to the migrants. Lukashenko acts with great severity against any opposition. dpa

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