MMigrants who want to illegally cross the EU’s external border with Poland via Belarus have recently tried several times to reach their destination by force and to tear down border fences. That comes from videos of the Polish border guards. At the weekend, two groups of 60 to 70 migrants each threw stones and branches at Polish border guards and soldiers. Two soldiers were injured in the process.
Some of the violent actions took place near the Polish village of Usnarz Górny, where around 30 people had camped right on the border strip in the forest since the beginning of August. On Monday, Poland’s border guards reported that the migrants had left the camp for Belarus, and that Belarusian border guards were now “guarding” the empty tents. In the meantime there are also indications that in Belarus migrants were supplied with clothes from the magazines of the border troops and, on the other hand, civilian border guards mingled with the migrants.
Hundreds of migrants, mainly from the Middle East, are still trying to get to the EU via Poland every day. Poland’s border guards spoke for the days from Friday to Sunday of 1338 people prevented from crossing the border. Seven smugglers were also arrested. Currently, 1700 foreigners who have come through Belarus are accommodated in border protection facilities, most of them asylum seekers. In total, Poland has deported around 400 foreigners to their home countries since the beginning of the year.
The border is to be secured with walls and barbed wire
On Monday, the Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced that the number of soldiers supporting border protection on the border with Belarus “will soon be increased by 2,500 to around 10,000”. According to calculations by a newspaper, a total of 14,000 soldiers, border and police officers from all over the country are already deployed in the border area. The planned construction of a permanent barrier along the 400-kilometer border will cost Poland around 350 million euros.
Lithuania, which previously prevented illegal entry in October 1558, is building a similar barrier and is hoping for financial support from Brussels. However, after a corresponding discussion at the EU summit on Friday, Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said it was “a long-standing joint position of the Commission and Parliament that there will be no joint financing of barbed wire and walls”.