Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki asked President Andrzej Duda to introduce a state of emergency in the areas near the border with Belarus. Previously, Latvia and Lithuania had made similar decisions. Kinga Dudzińska from the Polish Institute of International Affairs said on TVN24 that “the example of Lithuania and Latvia is a different dimension, because Lithuania decided to introduce a state of emergency at a time when daily exceedances (border-ed.) Reached over 100-150 people”. She also said that due to the decisions taken there, the activities of journalists had been limited.
On Tuesday The Council of Ministers asked the president to introduce a state of emergency in the area of part of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie voivodships. It is to be in force for 30 days in the border zone and cover 115 towns in Podlasie and 68 in the Lublin region. According to the regulations, the president “immediately” examines the government’s application for the introduction of a state of emergency and issues – if he deems it necessary – a regulation on the introduction of a state of emergency. The regulation may be repealed by the Sejm.
Similar solutions related to the influx of migrants from Belarus have already been introduced in Latvia and Lithuania.
The Latvian government introduced a state of emergency in the regions bordering Belarus and in Daugavpils, a city several dozen kilometers from the border. The state of emergency takes effect from August 11. At the beginning of July, Lithuania introduced a state of extreme situation throughout the country, strengthened border patrolling, involving, among others, the military.
Dudzińska on the limited activity of the media in Lithuania and Latvia
Kinga Dudzińska from the Polish Institute of International Affairs said that “in regulation and with regard to the constitution, it is a slightly less important tool compared to the way we interpret our state of emergency.”
As she said, “formally, the state of emergency in Latvia and Lithuania obliges the services and gives them the possibility of a greater response, including the obligation of the army to help, to cooperate with the Border Guard”. – These are also obligations that are regulated when it comes to the activities of the local government (…) The public procurement procedure is also facilitated – she added.
When asked if the media activity in these countries’ border areas is in any way limited, Dudzińska said that “in Lithuania, from 2 or 3 August, journalists are forbidden to control and patrol the borders”. “For security reasons, of course,” she added. The expert said that also in Latvia the activity of journalists is limited.
Dudzińska: In Lithuania, the daily border crossing was over 100-150 people
When asked how many migrants are trying to cross over to the Lithuanian and Latvian side, she said that “statistically, the situation has stabilized in recent days, especially with regard to the Latvian border”. She added that a week ago there were attempts to cross the border by a larger number of people.
– The example of Lithuania and Latvia is also a different dimension, because Lithuania, for example, decided to introduce a state of emergency at a time when the daily crossing (border) reached over 100-150 people – Dudzińska said.
She noted that in previous years the annual statistics accounted for around several dozen people. – So the Border Guard actually asked the government to introduce this emergency situation – added Dudzińska.
As she said, in Latvia it was statistically several dozen people. – Probably such a breakthrough moment was one weekend around the beginning of August, when there were also several dozen, about a hundred people (crossing the border) – she added.
Main photo source: TVN24