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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus. President Andrzej Duda: Belarusian services were responsible for the attacks on the border

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We have documents and video materials that the Belarusian services were responsible for the attacks on the Polish-Belarusian border even before the Russian aggression in Ukraine, said President Andrzej Duda. “We call it a hybrid attack for a reason,” he added.

President Andrzej Duda in the Third Program of Polish Radio he was asked if we are at risk of a hybrid war from the east.

– There are so many potential threats. We have learned this over the last few years. Please remember that what was happening on the Polish-Belarusian border before the beginning of the Russian aggression on Ukraine, i.e. this hybrid attack on our border – said the president. “We call it a hybrid attack for a reason,” he added.

Bodies of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border

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– We have documents, we have video materials, that the Belarusian services were in fact responsible for the attacks on the border, which was in fact the responsibility of the Belarusian regime, the Belarusian state – stressed Andrzej Duda.

He pointed out that we are talking about a situation in which “security officers push migrants to the border and in a sense not only persuade, but even force them to attack this border”, to “cross the border in illegal places, to break the law”, and not to crossing the border at border crossings, “as it happens in civilized conditions according to the law”.

The assault of migrants on the border with BelarusTVN24

Duda: Situations can be different

When asked if we can expect the situation to happen again, he replied. – Of course, we have to expect that (situations) may be different here, and that’s why we build security.

– That’s why I, how many times I’m in the headquarters FOR THISWhenever I talk to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, I draw attention to the Suwałki Isthmus so many times that it is a sensitive place, this section of the Polish-Lithuanian border between Russia, i.e. the Kaliningrad district, and Belarus, added the president.

– This is where NATO should be particularly sensitive and focused, because this is a potential area of ​​​​various types of hybrid provocations that can theoretically take place – noted Andrzej Duda.

The border belt near the village of Chwościany on the Polish-Belarusian borderArtur Reszko/PAP

Strategic area

Many experts describe the Suwałki Pass as strategic for the entire NATO. This isthmus is the area around Suwałki, Augustów and Sejny, connecting Poland with Lithuania and the other Baltic countries, at the same time separating the Kaliningrad Oblast belonging to Russia from Belarus. The Politico portal wrote last year that in the event of a clash between Russia and NATO, the Suwałki isthmus would probably be the “first point of contact”.

From December 2021 to June last year due to migration pressure in the area near the border with Belarus residence was prohibitedwhich covered 115 towns in the Podlaskie Voivodship and 68 towns in the Lubelskie Voivodship; excluded from it are residents and local entrepreneurs. From September to December 2021, it was in force in the same area state of emergency.

At the end of March border guards reported that since the beginning of March it had recorded over 2.1 thousand. attempts to cross the Belarusian-Polish border illegally. In February it was about 1.5 thousand. attempts, in January over 1.4 thousand.

On the Polish-Belarusian border, the construction of an electronic firewall, i.e. a system of cameras and sensors, is being completed. It complements the 5.5 m high steel dam built last year on 186 km of the border. Ultimately, the electronic dam will be slightly over 200 km long.

A dam on the border between Poland and Belarus TVN24

Main photo source: Artur Reszko/PAP

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