• Tuesday, 09 July 2024

Poland to send more soldiers to border, says Belarus sending refugees

Poland to send more soldiers to border, says Belarus sending refugees

Warsaw, 7 August 2023 (dpa/MIA) - Poland accused its neighbour Belarus of organizing refugee crossings into Polish territory and plans to send an additional 1,000 soldiers to Poland's border to combat this.

"We need many more forces at the border," Polish Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik announced in Warsaw on Monday, according to the PAP news agency.

According to the Polish Border Patrol, 160 migrants tried to cross from Belarus into Poland on Saturday and 147 tried on Sunday.

The numbers this year are significantly higher than in 2022, according to Tomasz Praga, commander of the border guard. He called the smuggling attempts part of a hybrid warfare by Belarus against Poland.

Wąsik agreed that Belarus is behind the refugee crossings.

"This would not be possible without the involvement of Belarusian authorities," he said.

There were also frequent cases of Polish border guards and soldiers being attacked by refugees at the border.

So far 5,000 border guards and 2,000 soldiers have already been deployed to Poland's eastern border with Belarus, which is also the external border of the European Union and NATO.

They are to receive help from 500 police officers. To secure the border militarily, the Polish army has already moved additional troops to the east because of the emergence of the Russian private army Wagner in Belarus.

People from Afghanistan, Syria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Algeria and other countries are trying to reach Poland and thus the EU via Belarus.

Photo: EPA