Aug 30, 2021
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Borderline state: why Poland called the migration crisis Minsk’s “revenge” on Warsaw and Vilnius

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminsky said that the situation with the influx of migrants on the border with Belarus is Minsk’s “revenge” on Warsaw and Vilnius. According to the minister, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko allegedly wants to create a new large-scale migration crisis near the EU borders in order to “harm Poland”, Lithuania and the European Union as a whole. According to experts, Poland seeks to make Belarus the culprit of its own problems, which it cannot solve. However, the real reason for the influx of illegal immigrants lies in the mistakes of NATO countries, which carried out failed operations in other states, analysts say.

In Poland, they said that the situation with the influx of migrants on the border with Belarus is Minsk’s “revenge” on Warsaw and Vilnius. This was stated by the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Polish Republic Mariusz Kaminsky.

“This is retaliation and revenge for the fact that the Polish and Lithuanian states have become a safe haven for representatives of the Belarusian opposition,” he said, speaking to police officers who are heading to Lithuania to fight the migration crisis.

According to Kaminsky, “the response of the regime (President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. – RT) is just manifested in what is happening at the moment on the border of Poland and Lithuania, on the external border of the EU ”.

“Lukashenka remembers what a big problem for the entire EU was 2015, when hundreds of thousands of illegal refugees reached the borders of Europe. He wants to do it again, he wants to harm Poland, he wants to harm Lithuania, he wants to harm our citizens and he wants to harm the EU, cynically using people whom Belarusian planes bring from thousands of kilometers from the Middle East and Africa, and misinforming them that that the borders of the EU are open. No, they are not open and cannot be opened, ”he stressed.

Kamiński also said that the Polish policemen are going to Lithuania “on an extremely important and difficult mission.”

“You are going there at the invitation of the Lithuanian government, which has asked our authorities to support the security of the Lithuanian state. There you will help preserve security, protect the independence and inviolability of our neighbor’s borders, ”Kaminsky told the police.

Earlier, on August 24, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Pshidach said in an interview with RMF FM radio that Belarus allegedly brings new migrants from the Middle East to its territory in order to send them to the borders of Lithuania and Poland. According to him, Lukashenka is allegedly trying to destabilize the situation in the Polish republic by “sending migrants of this type for several months.”

A few days earlier, Pshidach had reported on the evening program of TVN24 that Minsk was allegedly provoking a migration crisis. According to him, this is Lukashenka’s “political operation”. According to Pshidach, the Belarusian side allegedly cynically uses illegal immigrants as a human shield and “an instrument of political pressure on Warsaw.”

  • Migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border
  • © State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus

Meanwhile, the head of the Polish Defense Ministry, Mariusz Blaszczak, said on August 21 that the influx of illegal migrants on the Polish-Belarusian border is supposedly “a dirty game between Lukashenka and the Kremlin.” He wrote about this on his Twitter page, attaching photos of the damaged barbed wire fence. According to him, this is “also the result of the activities of the Belarusian special services”.

Migration issue

Let us remind you that on August 6 Poland and Lithuania called on the EU to exert tougher pressure on Belarus, motivating this need with the migration crisis in the region allegedly provoked by Minsk. This was reported in a joint statement by Warsaw and Vilnius. It also said that both states are in favor of a tough and decisive response to the actions of Belarus and everyone who takes part in organizing the transfer of illegal migrants.

However, Alexander Lukashenko categorically denies such accusations. During a meeting with journalists and members of the public on August 9, he demanded from neighboring states to put the relevant “facts on the table.” According to him, this year the flow of migrants has significantly increased and the EU countries “do not know what to do with them”, therefore “they made a noise.”

Last week, during an extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council, Lukashenka said that the Poles had captured about 50 people on their territory, who, “as they confessed, were going to Germany.”

“And under the threat of weapons, shooting over their heads (Polish border guards. – RT), squeezed them out (illegal migrants. – RT) to the border with Belarus. Naturally, they went to Germany, they do not want to go to Belarus. Thus, Poland started a border conflict on the border, violating the state border of Belarus, ”he said.

At the same time, the State Border Committee (CPC) of the Belarusian Republic regularly reports that Poland and Lithuania not only rigidly prevent illegal immigrants from entering their territory, exerting pressure, but also use physical violence against them.

So, on August 29, the department informed that the Lithuanian border guards “threw out of the country” an elderly “refugee in a semi-faint state.”

“When the woman’s condition improved, she explained that a group of refugees had been brought to the border line by Lithuanian security forces. The migrants went to Lithuania to seek asylum, but in response, local law enforcement officers starved them, threatened and used physical force. As a “parting word”, they promised to kill the foreign woman if she returned to the territory of Lithuania, ”the CPC said.

Two days earlier, the department also reported that the Lithuanian border guards, in order to drive out a group of refugees to the territory of Belarus, “set” a service dog on them.

“The foreigners told the border guards that they had asked the Lithuanian security officials to grant them refugee status. However, instead of this, in violation of all international norms, they were taken to the Belarusian border under the threat of the use of physical force and weapons, ”the press release of the CPC said.

  • Belarusian-Polish border
  • © State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus

The State Border Committee of Belarus has reported numerous incidents of violence by Polish border guards. It was, in particular, about the fact that in mid-August “Polish border guards brought a foreigner with bodily injuries to the border line.”

“The man explained that he applied for refugee status in Poland and intends to try again, despite the violent actions taken by the Polish side against refugees,” the department said.

“Blame Minsk”

As the deputy director of the Institute of History and Politics of the Moscow State Pedagogical University Vladimir Shapovalov noted in a commentary on RT, the statement by the head of the Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs once again confirms that Warsaw continues to follow “in line with its hostile policy” towards Belarus.

“Poland does not want to cooperate with Minsk. The same can be said about Vilnius. Moreover, the migration crisis at the border is not a problem of Belarus, but the difficulties of the European Union, where illegal immigrants want to get by different ways. These migration processes have become much more dynamic due to the situation in Afghanistan, ”the analyst explained.

As Sergei Ermakov, a leading expert at the RISS Research Coordination Center, stated in an interview with RT, Poland is looking for the cause of the migration crisis in the wrong place.

“It is not the Belarusians who are fleeing to the Baltic countries and Poland, but the inhabitants of those countries in which the NATO states carried out their failed operations. This is the reason for the migration crisis. Now this is especially relevant in the context of what is happening in Afghanistan. It is clear that it was the mistakes of the Western countries that generated a more powerful wave of migrants. The question of how they will penetrate into Europe is purely technical. This opens up a field for interaction with other countries. But instead of coordination, we see more attempts to accuse Minsk of allegedly provoking the refugee problem. In practice, this is far from the case, ”the analyst said.

According to Ermakov, Poland, Lithuania and other EU countries have no desire to understand the true source of the current migration crisis.

“This is a huge challenge, including the security of Poland. Especially now, when there is already a wave of refugees from Afghanistan. Of course, Brussels will not praise Warsaw for such an ill-considered policy. And instead of understanding the reasons for the migration crisis, they blame the problem from a sore head on a healthy one, blaming Minsk, ”the expert said.

Shapovalov took a similar position. According to him, Warsaw “seeks to make the Belarusian authorities the culprit of their own migration problems”, which Poland cannot solve.

“The Polish leadership should resolve the situation, and not nod at Belarus as the” source “of the difficulties that have arisen,” he said.

Commenting on the cruel treatment of migrants by Lithuanian and Polish border guards, Ermakov noted that now “there is no tolerance for illegal immigrants in Europe.”

“The EU has begun to revise its own theses on respect for human rights. We are now witnessing the growth of right-wing populism. This presupposes rather tough actions in relation to migrants. In addition, Lithuania and Poland have always been distinguished by this kind of rigidity, they just turned a blind eye to it. The border guards of these countries will not behave more leniently, ”the analyst said.

  • Migrants on the Belarusian-Polish border
  • © State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus

In turn, Shapovalov called what is happening on the border “lawlessness” on the part of the Lithuanian and Polish authorities.

“The chaos that the law enforcement officers of Poland and Lithuania are doing in relation to migrants does not correspond to any idea of ​​a civilized society. What the border guards of these countries are now demonstrating is beyond good and evil. This is another indication that they were not ready for such a problem. This is a sign of the inappropriateness of both security officials and politicians who do not know how to resolve the situation and strive to act as tough as possible, ”the expert said.

Shapovalov predicted that if the Polish and Lithuanian authorities do not act adequately to the current situation, the migration crisis will worsen.

“It is obvious that the new migration wave is on the rise. In the very near future, the EU will face a new influx of migrants, which will also go through Belarus. And Poland and Lithuania are the countries of the European Union, which will be the first to find themselves under this even more intense pressure from illegal immigrants, ”the analyst concluded.

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