Concern over potential of new migrant crisis on Poland-Belarus border

Concern over potential of new migrant crisis on Poland-Belarus border
Concern over potential of new migrant crisis on Poland-Belarus border. Image: Bumble Dee/

Polish Border Guard officials rescued 10 migrants from a swamp on the border of Belarus on Tuesday, with Warsaw warning of the potential of a new migrant crisis.

In 2021 the world was shocked by images of the Polish authorities blocking migrants from crossing the border in often violent scenes. On this occasion many analysts blamed the Belarussian government for intentionally provoking a surge in migration of people from the Middle East and Africa in an attempt to destabilise Poland and the European Union. Belarus has consistently denied flying in people and taking them to the border. 

However, with the security concerns stemming from the Ukraine war, Warsaw has warned that it has noted an increase in migrant activity on the Belarus border, with Polish officials suspecting that Minsk may once again be involved. 

As reported by Reuters, the Polish Border Guard announced in a statement that they had “saved 10 foreigners during an extremely difficult operation”. The 10 migrants were “8 Sri Lankan citizens, a Pakistani citizen and an Indian citizen”. 

The Guard have said that in recent weeks the number of daily attempted illegal crossing has exceeded 100, a significant increase from the numbers recorded in the summer. 

This increase may be linked to Poland’s ongoing construction of a border fence with Belarus. Border Guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska stated that in her view more migrants were aiming to reach Poland before the electronic system was completed and crossing became more difficult. 

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