The government asked President Andrzej Duda to introduce a state of emergency in 183 towns near the border with Belarus. Marek Świerczyński from Polityka Insight said on TVN24 that “it is mainly a political step”. He stressed that “while the state of emergency is a tool of increased control on the part of the Polish authorities, its application to a military threat is 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 The regulation may be repealed by the Sejm.
Duda emphasized that it is necessary to strengthen this border in connection with the possible influx of migrants to the Polish border, including from Afghanistan, as well as in connection with the Russian maneuvers in Belarus Zapad 2021.
Świerczyński on the Zapad 2021 exercises
Świerczyński, asked on TVN24 whether these exercises are a threat, taking into account the fact that in the previous years they also took place, said that “at the moment, there is an almost unanimous belief in Europe that these activities, the effects of which are observed on the Polish border, Lithuania and Latvia, it is an element of a kind of hybrid war, or aggressive actions below the threshold of war “. – The question is whether this is directly related to the Zapad exercises. There is a kind of problem here. These activities, the effects of which we observe at the border, appeared relatively recently, while the strategic Zapad exercises organized every four years are aimed at comprehensive, systematic and systematic preparation of the military bloc of Belarus and Russia for the war with NATO, which is ultimately to be an armed conflict – he spoke.
Świerczyński: the state of emergency does not, in principle, allow the military to act
Referring to the reaction of the Polish authorities, he said that “on the one hand, other allied countries bordering Russia and Belarus, of course, introduce such extraordinary measures on their territory in response to this situation on the border, but on the other hand, it can be said that the increased level of military threat , which is what the authorities refer to in this narrative about the Zapad exercises, it has been a permanent state for several years, at least since Russia has clearly shown that it does not hesitate to use force to change borders in Europe, i.e. from 2014 year”.
He noted that “if we think about an external threat, especially of an armed nature, we should rather introduce martial law, not a state of emergency”. He added that “while the state of emergency is a tool of increased control on the part of the Polish authorities, its application to a military threat, let’s agree, is limited”.
– By its definition, a state of emergency is introduced in the face of a threat to the security of citizens, order, and the constitutional order, but of an internal nature, while martial law is introduced in the face of an external threat – he stressed.
Świerczyński assessed that “the state of emergency is a measure that in principle does not allow the military to act”, “in terms of practical consequences that would lead to an increase in the level of Poland’s security”.
– It can be said that this is mainly a political step – he assessed.
Main photo source: TVN24