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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border. Deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Bartosz Grodecki on the involvement of Frontex in operations at the border

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Migrants are still trying to cross the Belarusian border to Poland. Deputy Minister of Interior and Administration, Bartosz Grodecki, stated that “as of today, we do not see the need to involve Frontex in activities on the Polish-Belarusian border.” At the same time, he emphasized that “we want to cooperate with Frontex in the field of readmission, ie the return of migrants to their countries of origin”.

The deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration was asked by the Polish Press Agency about the issue of cooperation with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex in the face of migration pressure from Belarus, including votes for the government to ask Frontex for support in border operations. Such help is used, among others, by Lithuania.

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“As of today, we do not see the need to involve Frontex in activities on our border. Currently, the section of the border with Belarus is protected by over seven thousand officers of the Border Guard, Police and soldiers of the Polish Army. There will be more of them, and the Polish-Belarusian border is shorter than the Lithuanian-Belarusian border” – said Grodecki.

Soldiers building a fence on the Polish-Belarusian border near the village of Nomiki. Photo from 25/08/2021Marcin Onufryjuk / PAP

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As he pointed out, “in this component we do not need the support of Frontex”. “However, we want to cooperate with Frontex in the field of readmission, i.e. the return of migrants to their countries of origin,” emphasized the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.

Grodecki: Frontex has a developed return system

Grodecki explained that the head of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, during their joint visit to the border on October 4, declared the Agency’s involvement in organizing flights from Poland to third countries. “We want to take advantage of this offer. Frontex’s support is important in this field. Frontex has a return system in place. It has qualified people, tools and financial resources at its disposal,” he added.

Deputy Minister Bartosz Grodecki (on the right) and the head of the Frontex Agency (in the center) on a visit to the Polish-Belarusian border (photo from 4/10/2021)border guards

“Talks on this are currently underway. We already have a group of people who have received a return decision. I hope that Frontex will soon be able to organize such a flight” – said the deputy minister of interior and administration.

Illegal crossing of the EU border

Since the spring, the number of attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions has increased sharply. The EU and its member states believe that this is the result of deliberate actions by Belarus in response to the sanctions.

From September 2, due to the migratory pressure in 183 localities in the province. Podlasie and voivodeship Lublin, adjacent to the border with Belarus, a state of emergency is in force. The government also plans to build a dam on this border.

Main photo source: Marcin Onufryjuk / PAP



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