It would be a good idea for the Polish authorities to ask Frontex for help in connection with the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border, said the spokesman of the European Commission Adalbert Jahnz at a press conference in Brussels. He noted that EU resources could be used by Polish authorities. He also added that a delegation of European Commission experts was visiting Poland for a technical visit.
Executive Director of the Frontex Agency Fabrice Leggeri and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Bartosz Grodecki visited the Polish-Belarusian border on Monday. The aim was to present the difficult situation resulting from the hybrid actions of the Belarusian regime. Frontex said in a press release after the visit that Leggeri “was impressed with the measures taken to secure the border”.
EC spokesperson: It would be a good idea to approach Frontex
Among other things, the spokesman of the European Commission was asked on Wednesday about the visit of the director of Frontex. Adalbert Jahnz replied that the Commission would not comment on the words of the director of Frontex. – We still believe that it would be a good idea to ask the Polish authorities for assistance from Frontex. The Union’s resources may be used by the Polish authorities. It is up to the Polish authorities to decide whether or not to ask for such help, said Jahnz. He also pointed out that it should be remembered that the actions of the Belarusian regime, which use migrants in an instrumental way, are responsible for the situation at the border.
He added that on 5-6 October a technical visit of experts from the European Commission takes place in Poland, who will meet representatives of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Border Guard on Wednesday.
Adalbert Jahnz recalled the words of EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who said during Tuesday’s debate in the European Parliament that “my main message is and has been that we must protect our common border using common EU resources based on common values.” – We must be firm and united towards Lukashenka. And we must do this in a way that shows that we, the European Union, are based on different values, the rule of law and full respect for fundamental rights. We must protect our borders and our values, she pointed out.
The situation at the border
The Ministry of Interior and Administration informed that Monday’s visit to the eastern border of Poland is the result of daily cooperation between the management of the Frontex Agency and the ministry. The head of Frontex, as reported, thanked Poland for the cooperation since the beginning of the crisis, the ongoing exchange of information and providing the Agency with data on the situation at the border. “Poland also actively helped other countries under migratory pressure. Among other things, it provided the necessary equipment and officers for the needs of Frontex operations in Lithuania,” recalled the ministry.
Since spring, there has been a sharp increase in the number of attempts to illegally cross the border by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions on the border of Belarus with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. The EU and its member states believe that this is the result of deliberate actions by Belarus in response to the sanctions. Minsk denies accusations of triggering the migration crisis. Since August, the Polish Border Guard has frustrated over 10,000. attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border, and 1.5 thousand. people were arrested in the interior of the country and taken to centers for foreigners. In September alone, there were 7,535 attempts to cross the border.
Since September 2, due to migratory pressure, a state of emergency has been in force in 183 localities in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces, adjacent to the border with Belarus. Initially, it was introduced for 30 days. On September 30, the Seym agreed to extend the state of emergency for 60 days.
Main photo source: Artur Reszko / PAP