Poland reports spike in number of Africans trying to cross from Belarus

The Polish government has reported that it has seen a new wave of sub-Saharan African migrants trying to enter the country illegally from Belarus, saying the migrants are flying to Russia first.

Poland’s national security department said the Polish border guard reported that the majority of migrants trying to enter the European Union through the Polish-Belarusian border were from sub-Saharan Africa.

It is alleged that Africans are able to legally acquire visas to travel to Russia and then travel to Belarus, where they attempt to illegally cross the Polish border, reports the Associated Press.

“[The migrants] have visas issued for studies or work, but according to testimonies collected by border guards, they never had such plans and they only used visas to cross the migratory route,” said the Department of National Security.

“At the same time, the Russian administration is facilitating the procedure for obtaining visas,” the department said, adding, “The actions undertaken by Russia and Belarus confirm that the artificially created migration route is controlled and coordinated by these two regimes and Going forward, we should expect the hybrid operation to destabilize NATO’s eastern flank to only intensify.

Poland last year accused Belarus of sending migrants across its border, some apparently at gunpoint, in what Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime called a “hybrid war”.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke out on the issue in November 2021, calling it the biggest attempt to destabilize Europe since the end of the Cold War.

“Europe, our common home, is under threat. At this very moment, a hybrid war is taking place on the Polish-Belarusian border which Alexander Lukashenko, with the clandestine support of Vladimir Putin, has declared to the entire European Union,” said the Polish Prime Minister.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some have speculated that Russia could emulate Belarus and try to send migrants across the border to European Union countries in retaliation for economic sanctions.

Charly Salonius-Pasternak, a senior fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, warned in April that Russia could engage in hybrid warfare as Finland seeks to join the NATO alliance.

The Finnish government has also expressed caution over potential Russian movements and in June sought to reform the Border Guard Act and the Emergency Powers Act to deal with a possible future wave of illegal migrants. .

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or by e-mail at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.


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