The Polish government has reported that it has seen a new surge of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempt to cross into the country illegally from Belarus, claiming the migrants first fly to Russia.
Poland’s National Security Department stated that the Polish border guard has reported that the majority of migrants attempting to cross into the European Union via the Polish-Belarusian border are from sub-Saharan Africa
It is alleged that the Africans are able to legally acquire visas to fly to Russia and then make their way to Belarus, where they attempt to cross the border into Poland illegally, the Associated Press reports.
“[The migrants] have visas issued for studies or work, but according to testimonies acquired by the Border Guard, they have never had such plans and they used visas only to get through the migratory route,” the National Security Department said.
“Simultaneously, the Russian administration facilitates the procedure of obtaining the visas,” the department stated, adding: “The actions undertaken by Russia and Belarus confirm that the artificially created migratory route is controlled and coordinated by these two regimes and in future, we should expect that the hybrid operation aimed at destabilizing NATO’s eastern flank will only intensify.”
Last year, Poland blamed Belarus for sending migrants to their border, some reportedly at gunpoint, in what was termed “hybrid warfare” by the regime of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited the border area on Thursday to mark the completion of a new steel wall. https://t.co/jQsh1PEuJh
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 30, 2022
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke out on the issue in November 2021, calling it the greatest attempt to destabilise Europe since the end of the Cold War.
“Europe, our common home, is threatened. At this very moment, a hybrid war is taking place on the Polish-Belarusian border which Alexander Lukashenko, with the backroom support of Vladimir Putin, has declared against the entire European Union,” the Polish prime minister said.
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some have speculated that Russia may emulate Belarus and try and send migrants across the border into European Union countries in retaliation for economic sanctions.
Charly Salonius-Pasternak, a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, warned in April that Russia may engage in hybrid warfare as Finland looks to join the NATO alliance.
The Finnish government has also expressed caution regarding potential Russian moves and in June looked to make reforms to the Border Guard Act and the Emergency Powers Act in order to deal with a possible future illegal migrant surge.
Expert Warns Russia May Flood Finland with Illegal Migrants If Country Joins NATO https://t.co/fVxcF70kBr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2022