EU increases pressure on Lukashenko

“Nobody can stop them,” says Piotr Rećko. He means the migrants who ran in a long column in Belarus on Monday towards the Polish border and are now camping along the border fence erected by Poland. “Only a physical barrier can solve the problem. Anyone with common sense will see it that way. ”This is the only way to end the“ hybrid war ”of the Belarusian ruler Lukashenko, who wants to smuggle these people into the EU via his country in order to put them under pressure through a wave of migration.

Gerhard Gnauck

Political correspondent for Poland, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania based in Warsaw.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Rećko is the district administrator of Sokółka, the first Polish town west of the border crossing at Kuźnica. There the migrants wanted to go to Poland and the EU. The district administrator said these words to the local newspaper Nowiny Sokólskie on Tuesday. According to the government, Rećko will have to wait until spring for the permanent barrier at the border, which was decided by the Polish parliament and which will cost the equivalent of at least 350 million euros and be five and a half meters high.

Until then, rolls of barbed wire and cordons in uniform must form a barrier, reinforced by protective shields, tear gas bottles, and a water cannon has already been spotted. According to the newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”, the government has so far sent 9,000 border guards and police officers and 12,000 soldiers to reinforce them on the 400-kilometer-long border with Belarus.

On Monday, two battalions of territorial defense, around 1,000 people, were called up in an urgent procedure in the border towns of Białystok and Hajnówka. The territorial defense created shortly after the Russian annexation of Crimea is a kind of homeland and disaster protection. In addition, according to the newspaper, hundreds of other police officers are on the march, including anti-terrorist units.

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