Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday warned of a possible increase in pressure from illegal immigrants at the border of the European Union with Belarus, this time from Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
Moravetski said that during a visit to Vilnius, Lithuania, he received information that the difficult situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country in August “could be used as the next stage of the migration crisis.”
“We are aware of the diplomatic and official contacts of Belarus and Russia with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and … there will probably be an attempt to use the crisis in Afghanistan as the next stage of the migration crisis,” Moravecki said at a press conference following talks with Prime Minister of Lithuania Ingrida Simonyte.
Meeting in your personal account @MorawieckiM…
It is extremely important for the EU to maintain unity and increase international pressure on the Minsk regime, which is the only reason for illegal migration across the EU’s eastern border. #WeDefendEurope pic.twitter.com/VEKXX7HBwo
– Ingrida Simonyte (@IngridaSimonyte) November 21, 2021
“And the migration crisis is only part of a big political crisis in which Lukashenko and his real principal – and I think no one doubts that this is President Putin – will continue such actions,” Morawiecki said.
“I think that what is unfolding before our eyes, these dramatic events, can only be a prelude to something much worse,” he added.
He also said that Poland supports Lithuania “in all its endeavors, including this one.”
On Sunday, Morawiecki was on a one-day tour of meetings with the prime ministers of the European Union member states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, who also suffered from immigrants trying to illegally cross their borders. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss ways of solving the illegal immigration crisis that affected the EU countries, whose countries border on Belarus.
1/2 Europe faces new threats. The migration crisis, cyber attacks and gas price manipulation are just examples of the hybrid war unleashed in Minsk and Moscow. PL, LT, LV and EE are at the forefront of this attack. We remain united and in solidarity. This is the only way for Europe. pic.twitter.com/XbNufj3AZb
– Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) November 21, 2021
“It is very important for us that any negotiations (with Belarus) are coordinated with Lithuania, Poland and Latvia, which are at the forefront of the hybrid attack, and that no decisions are made that would not resolve the situation radically,” – Šimonyte. This was reported to reporters at a press conference.
“While we see some positive signs in the return of migrants to their countries of origin, the attack, orchestrated by the Minsk regime, unfortunately, is still ongoing. Therefore, it is especially important to further increase pressure and sanctions on Minsk until the situation changes significantly, ”the Lithuanian Prime Minister said in a statement.
Greetings to my colleague @MorawieckiM in Riga today. During our meeting, we will discuss the situation on the “external border with Belarus and current events in the field of regional security.” #LVmeetsPL pic.twitter.com/49SchY4aW9
– Krisjanis Karins (@krisjaniskarins) November 21, 2021
Latvian Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins said after meeting with Morawiecki: “The European Union is undergoing a coordinated hybrid attack from the Belarusian regime, which exploits third-country nationals and tries to bring them into the EU through illegal border crossings at Polish borders. , Lithuania and Latvia “.
“We have a single and well-established position – we will not allow the Belarusian regime to illegally import citizens of third countries into the European Union,” Karins said in a statement.
Karins said that Latvia intends to send a group of border guards and police officers to Poland.
The Prime Minister of Latvia offered the UN to take part in organizing the repatriation of third-country nationals on the territory of Belarus to their countries of origin.
Both Moravetsky and Karins agreed that “the situation on the border between Ukraine and Russia and on the external borders of the EU should be viewed as a complete picture.”
Thanks PM from #Poland @MorawieckiM for a flight this morning. We see no signs of improvement in the hybrid attack on #EU the border. Through consistent actions and messages, we advocate European security – sanctions must come into force and diplomatic pressure will continue. pic.twitter.com/qjQZnB3GmQ
– Kaya Callas (@kajakallas) November 21, 2021
Although Estonia does not have a border with Belarus, the country is concerned about possible illegal border crossing with Russia and plans to build a barbed wire fence to prevent it.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaya Kallas said in a statement after meeting with her Polish counterpart that the hybrid attack on the Belarus-EU border does not show signs of ending.
“We predict that Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s pressure on the external border of the EU and NATO will continue, since the Belarusian regime has not yet achieved its goals,” Kallas said.
“Maintaining the confrontation as long as possible is in the interests of the Belarusian regime, since it distracts from the brutal repression and human rights violations that it continues to inflict on its own people.”
To resolve the border crisis, Callas proposed “the earliest possible imposition of sanctions” against Belarus.
Her country will also focus on applying diplomatic pressure to suspend flights from countries of origin and transit. According to Kallas, Estonia has already achieved diplomatic success in this endeavor, and as a result, many such flights have been stopped.
Therefore, she said that attention should be focused on the repatriation of immigrants, and called on Belarus to provide UN organizations with full access to its territory to provide humanitarian assistance to immigrants.
“People who were fraudulently lured to Minsk are in Belarus legally and have received Belarusian visas. They should be guaranteed security on the territory of Belarus, and Belarus should allow them to return to their homeland. ”
The trespassing continues
Poland has accused Belarus of continuing to ferry immigrants to its border, even though border guards cleared camps near the border earlier last week and began repatriating some people to Iraq.
The Polish border guard said on Sunday that it prevented the forced illegal entry of a group of 100 people into Cheremcha, delivered to the fenced-in border by Belarusian forces, according to Polish Radio 24. The immigrants attacked Polish officers with stones and pieces of trees, the report said.
According to a statement from the Polish border service, on Sunday another group of about 150 aggressive foreigners “under the control of Belarusian forces” tried to enter Poland in Dubichi-Cerkiewna.
The statement said that immigrants tried to break through the border by throwing a plank platform over a fence, but those who managed to get to Poland were arrested and sent back to the border.
The Polish Border Guard Service reports that this year it has registered over 34,000 illegal crossing attempts to Poland, including over 17,000 in October and over 6,000 in November. Several thousand people have been registered in Germany who arrived on its territory from Belarus.
Neighboring Lithuania reported that 44 migrants were denied entry on Saturday, the lowest figure in a week.
The European Union accuses Belarus that, in response to European sanctions, it flew in with thousands of people from the Middle East and pushed them to cross Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Minsk has repeatedly denied the accusation.
Lorenz Duchamp, Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.