Maciej Wąsik, deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, referred to the issue of migrants at the Polish-Belarusian border in a village in Podlasie. – They are men, mostly young, of recruiting age, strong. There is no indication that they are in danger of something bad in their country – he assessed. Why did they come to the border? – It is a chain to the European Union, a chain to luxury – he added. He stressed that Poland’s task was to protect the borders of the country and the European Union and to care for the “safety of citizens”.
At the Polish-Belarusian border a migrant camp was established in Usnarz Górny in Podlasiepushed out of Belarus by the local services. According to the report of TVN24 reporter Piotr Czaban, about 50 people, including women and children, live in the no-man’s land. He added that there were soldiers and border guards behind the tree line on the Belarusian side, who would not let the group back in.
The authorities in Minsk are accused of deliberately transferring migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan across the borders with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, which are also the borders of the Schengen area, in order to put pressure on the European Union because of the sanctions it has imposed on the Belarusian regime.
Deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration on the situation of migrants in Usnarz Górny
The TVN24 reporter asked the deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Maciej Wąsik about the situation in Usnarz Górny. The latter denied that the migrants were in no-man’s belt. – They are in Belarus, this is a Belarusian problem – he said.
– The task of the Border Guard and the Polish Army that supports it is to ensure the security of the Polish border and the security of citizens. We are taking such actions and we will be consistent in this – he stated.
When asked about the situation of people who have been sleeping in the open air for several days, pointing out that there are women with children there and asking how the ministry wants to deal with the humanitarian dimension of this situation, Wąsik replied that “we treat women and children differently than young men of recruiting age who are well dressed and apparently lacking nothing.
– It seems to me that this problem should be solved by those who did this problem, i.e. those who brought them from Baghdad to the capital of Belarus, to Minsk, where they were transferred to the Polish border. We have a duty to take care of Poles, for their safety and peace – he explained.
Wąsik argued that in this case Poland also has obligations towards the European Union. – Our eastern border is the border of (the Schengen zone – ed.), We have a duty to guard it – he said.
When asked what about other migrants who may appear in this place, Wąsik replied: – If we show that these actions are ineffective, the inflow to the border will decrease. If we succumb to pressure, it will turn out that we can get to the Schengen border in this way, and the pressure will then be greater. We must be extremely resolute here, act in accordance with the law, with EU law, respecting all conventions.
Wąsik: the situation on the border is not an image crisis for Poland
The deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration was asked how the ministry assessed what was happening on the Lithuanian-Belarusian and Polish-Belarusian borders. – We are aware that the Belarusian side inspires certain things. We must be firm here, so as to ensure the security of Poland and Lithuania – he explained. He added that the government was conducting “some talks” with the Belarusian side. “They’re going to solve the crisis,” he said casually.
Wąsik denied the opinion that the situation in Usnarz Górny was an image crisis for Poland.
How do the services want to protect the 400-kilometer section of the Polish-Belarusian border? Wąsik reported that a large part of this border is “marshes, a river”, where crossing the border is difficult. – In this way, we have a 180-kilometer section where these forces are strengthened, where we have 100 kilometers of additional devices in the form of barbed wire entanglements. We plan to spread a further 50 kilometers – he described. – If there is a need, the military is able to multiply its participation in the assistance of the Border Guard at any time – he added.
Wąsik reported that the nomadic migrants “are mostly Iraqis, some Afghans, Tajiks, often Armenians and other nations to a lesser extent.” – Generally they are men, mostly young, of recruitable age, strong. There is no indication that they are in danger of something bad in their country – he argued.
When asked how the migrants explained their presence at the border, Wąsik replied that he had not spoken to them. – On the other hand, it is a line to the European Union, a line to luxury, a line to places where you can live, receive benefits and not work – he assessed.
Main photo source: TVN24