On Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz referred to the situation of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border in “Rozmowa Piaseckiego” on TVN24. – This group of 50 people will be followed by another hundred, and this hundred will be followed by another thousand and in this way, thanks to the pressure of activists or the media, we will show that the northern migration route is open – he said.
A group of migrants has been wandering on the Polish-Belarusian border for over 20 days. They are prevented from moving to Poland by the Border Guard and the army. The area a few hundred meters from the place where the media and volunteers of non-governmental organizations are located, is additionally secured by the police. According to information from the Border Guard, there are 24 or slightly more people in the camp. The Ocalenie Foundation, whose employees and volunteers communicate with migrants through megaphones, reports that there are 32 people in the camp.
Przydacz: this group of 50 people will be followed by another hundred
– Letting these people in is a violation of the law, first of all – Przydacz said on TVN24. – Secondly, it is a concession to Lukashenka (the president of Belarus, Alyaksandr – ed.), He added.
Thirdly, the TVN24 guest argued, “another hundred will follow this group of 50 people, another thousand will follow this hundred, and in this way, thanks to the pressure of activists or the media, we will show that the northern migration route is open”.
Konrad Piasecki, the host of the program, reminded that ombudsman for civil rights Marcin Wiącek considers that it is an infringement of the law not to accept applications for international protection from foreigners residing in the border area. Przydacz replied that he did not agree with this position. – There is another position in the doctrine which says that in order to submit an application for asylum or international protection, one must be in the territory of the Republic of Poland or in a Polish facility. The cheers issued from outside Poland (…) are not really an application for international protection – he added.
According to the deputy minister, the Ombudsman looks at it “from the legal and human perspective and fundamental rights, and unfortunately the Schengen Code says clearly: the border should be crossed in designated places”.
– These people have the right to submit an application. There is a consulate in Grodno nearby – said Przydacz.
Component: people on the border are rotated
When asked if he was convinced that there were no Afghans in this group, he replied that he did not know who was there. – These are rotators. They’ve been changing there over the last weeks. We are talking about Iraqis because we know that planes arrive from Iraq, he added.
– Those refugees from Afghanistan, whom we have attracted in recent weeks, is a matter of really last days, weeks when the situation in Afghanistan worsened and people had to leave Afghanistan for political reasons. And we met this situation at the border already in June – explained the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Przydacz, “Lukashenka is also not stupid” and “it is obvious that he is trying to play us and you with this argument that these are people from Afghanistan – the poor who escaped from the war”. – If they are people from Afghanistan, they could go to all the posts on the way – in Uzbekistan, Russia and Belarus and apply for asylum because they are in political danger – he said.
He stressed that “the position of the Polish state is that the border must be tight and there is no possibility of crossing it in illegal places”. – The longer we accelerate this debate, the more Lukashenka will use these people as a tool – he added.
He also said that he hoped that by the time a fence on the border was built on this site, people present there would be able to submit applications to the appropriate institutions and “this situation would be resolved”.
Przydacz about the evacuation from Afghanistan
The TVN24 guest was also asked about people who were evacuated from Afghanistan in June. – Those people who came to the Polish side at that time with a desire to evacuate were evacuated – he said. – The democratic Afghan state was still functioning then, the Taliban were somewhere far away. These people did not want to leave. As the Taliban forces were approaching, and when they captured Kabul, the situation suddenly changed and we suddenly received a lot more of these conclusions, he explained.
He added that it was “obvious” that the moment the Taliban entered the city, former Western collaborators “scattered, fled”. – Then they found each other, we found contact by phone, e-mail, and other people. We found these people, brought them to Kabul and they were evacuated – he explained.
He also referred to the collections for refugees organized by municipalities receiving people evacuated from Afghanistan. – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was responsible for the evacuation of these people – he stressed. – I cannot imagine that the Office for Foreigners would not provide them with food. Anyway, he issued an appropriate statement – three meals a day. Yesterday I also talked to my colleagues from the Ministry of the Interior and they assure me that everything is fine in this respect – he added.
He emphasized that he wanted these people to be treated in the best possible way here. “We got these people out of the war not so that they had any additional problems here,” he said. He stated that he reads the additional fundraising as “an attempt to undermine this success, this good job that the Polish state has done”.
– It seems absolutely incredible and impossible to me. The Office for Foreigners accepts hundreds of these foreigners and so far there have never been any complaints – he summed up.
Przydacz on Ziobro’s words about hybrid war
He also referred to the words of the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro about the process of “hybrid war on the part of the European Union against the Polish legal and democratic systems”. – I encounter hybrid activities every day, I see them, but I see them from a different direction, from the eastern direction – he said.
– This is the opinion of Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, not the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – he stressed. – I believe that the European Union in the perspective that I deal with – Eastern policy, security policy, Asian policy – helps me in many respects as a tool, as an instrument, as our union. If it was necessary to respond to Lukashenka’s aggressive actions, we did it on the EU forum with EU sanctions, Przydacz added.
– The Minister of Justice is responsible for justice issues and perhaps in this matter the European Union is actually carrying out such activities that are not acceptable from the perspective of Minister Ziobro – he assessed.