In an interview with TVN24, the deputy head of the European Commission, Vera Jourova, referred, inter alia, to the situation of migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border. – We are saying very clearly that we must take all steps to better protect the borders. At the same time, with regard to the people who are already in this trap, we must treat them properly, in line with international humanitarian law, she stated. Earlier, during the Tuesday meeting with journalists in Gdańsk, answering a question from Wirtualna Polska, she said that she “trusts the Polish government that it will solve the situation” on the border. She added that the introduction of a state of emergency would be an “unprecedented” situation in Poland, but it shows “the seriousness of the migration crisis”.
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.
Jourova: real people are at stake
The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border was commented on on Tuesday during a meeting with journalists at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk, and later also in an interview with TVN24 reporter Michał Tracz, the deputy head of the European Commission, Viera Jourova. – This is a very serious issue. Real people suffer there, in a very bad situation, she said.
As she emphasized, “we must do everything in our power to better protect our external borders so that (Alyaksandr – ed.) Lukashenka does not triumph in this repugnant attempt to instrumentalise people, sending them across the border into this trap.”
“We made it clear that we must take all steps to better protect the borders, but that those people who are already trapped in this trap are treated as best as possible, in line with international humanitarian law,” she added.
During the meeting, Jourova replied to Wirtualna Polska’s question regarding the application for the introduction of a state of emergency along the border with Belarus, which the government presented to the president on Tuesday. – The state of emergency was not introduced even during a pandemic, so I understand that this shows the seriousness of the migration crisis. People on the border between Poland and Belarus are tragically tragic, care must be taken to provide these people with humanitarian support, but the situation is very complicated, so I trust the Polish government that it will solve the situation – the deputy head of the European Commission added, adding that “the introduction of a state of emergency this is an unprecedented situation in Poland “.
The deputy head of the European Commission stressed that she was aware that people camped on the border with Belarus were “victims of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, which organized the smuggling of people for money”. – It is clear to me that, as a Union, we must ensure the tightness of borders, but also ensure the security and humane treatment of those who have already entered our territory. We need system solutions, not ad hoc actions, stressed Jourova.
“You can’t let these people die,” she pointed out.
Lukashenka’s hybrid war
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia accuse Belarus of organizing the transfer of immigrants to their territory under the so-called hybrid war. In a joint statement by the prime ministers of Poland and the Baltic states assessed that the crisis on the borders with Belarus was planned and systematically organized by the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka. They also called on the Belarusian authorities to stop activities leading to escalating tensions.
European Commissioner for Migration Ylva Johansson She stated on Friday that the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border is not a matter of migration, but part of Lukashenka’s aggression against Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in order to destabilize the EU. The press service of the European Commission told PAP that this was also the position of the European Union that had been previously expressed by EU foreign ministers.
European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said in early August that the EU had introduced a comprehensive package of sanctions against the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and was ready to introduce new retaliation if the situation in Belarus continued to deteriorate. – If necessary, the EU will continue to support the Member States affected by the actions of the Lukashenka regime, said Stano.
He also stated that “the instrumental treatment of migrants for political purposes, which we have observed in recent weeks by the Belarusian authorities, shows that the Lukashenka regime knows no bounds in taking advantage of the suffering of these people.” – This is totally unacceptable. This is another example of the brazen disregard of the fundamental rights, human dignity and international obligations of Belarus by the regime, added the spokesman.
Main photo source: PAP / Artur Reszko