Poland declares state of unexpected emergency on Belarus border amid migrant surge

Polish border guard officers stand guard up coming to a team of migrants stranded on

Polish border guard officers stand guard up coming to a team of migrants stranded on the border among Belarus and Poland close to the village of Usnarz Gorny, Poland September 1, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

  • Initial purchase of its type given that communist periods
  • Border condition “tough and dangerous”, suggests Poland
  • Aid groups say refugees could be left stranded
  • EU accuses Belarus of making use of migrants for tension

WARSAW, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Poland declared a state of unexpected emergency in two areas bordering Belarus on Thursday following a surge of illegal migration that Warsaw has blamed on its neighbour.

Poland and the European Union have accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging hundreds of migrants to cross into Polish territory to place pressure on the bloc over sanctions it has imposed on Minsk.

The crisis get- the first of its kind in Poland given that communist situations – banned mass gatherings and restricted people’s actions in a 3-km (2-mile) deep strip of land alongside the frontier for 30 times, the government reported.

Aid teams working with migrants explained there had currently been an raise in Polish law enforcement and armed autos in the space in recent times, and that they ended up apprehensive the purchase would limit their do the job and go away refugees stranded.

“The environment is generally violent, there are uniformed, armed servicemen in all places … it reminds me of war,” Marta Anna Kurzyniec, a resident of the Polish border city of Krynki, told Reuters

Poland began developing a barbed wire fence final 7 days to control the flow of migrants from nations these types of as Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Tricky AND Unsafe”

“The scenario on the border with Belarus is difficult and risky,” presidential spokesman Blazej Spychalski advised reporters on Thursday.

“Currently, we as Poland, becoming responsible for our own borders, but also for the borders of the European Union, will have to just take measures to be certain the safety of Poland and the (EU).”

The governing administration has also mentioned it needs to be geared up for “provocations” during army workout routines organised by the Russian army in Russian and Belarusian territory in close proximity to Poland from Sept. 10.

“We have to be geared up for each circumstance,” Polish Inside Minister Mariusz Kaminski reported on Thursday.

Rights activists have accused Polish authorities of denying enough health-related care to stranded migrants. Warsaw claims they are the obligation of Belarus and it has also accused Minsk of refusing a convoy of humanitarian assist meant for the migrants.

Marysia Zlonkiewicz from the support group Chlebem i Solą (With Bread and Salt) claimed law enforcement had requested them to end their exercise along the border right before the state of unexpected emergency was introduced.

“This state of emergency is a nuclear solution that is to go us absent from this border, not only us but also the media,” said Marianna Wartecka of the Ocalenie Foundation refugee charity.

Relations between the European Union and Belarus have worsened sharply over the past 12 months considering that President Lukashenko claimed victory in an election his opponents and Western countries say was rigged.

The EU has slapped economic sanctions on Belarus and has accused Lukashenko of intentionally encouraging illegal migrants to cross into Poland and the Baltic states Latvia and Lithuania in a variety of “hybrid warfare”.

Reporting by Alan Charlish, Pawel Florkiewicz, Joanna Plucinska, Alicja Ptak, Anna Koper and Matthias Williams Enhancing by Mark Heinrich and Andrew Heavens

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