In an interview with “Sanad”, a spokesman for the Polish security forces: We reject the crossing of refugees, and the Lukashenko regime is responsible
The border between Poland and Belarus is witnessing a tense situation, in conjunction with the presence of thousands of asylum seekers, wishing to cross to the Polish side; Hoping to obtain asylum in one of the European Union countries.
The pace of events has escalated recently, reaching a direct confrontation between a number of asylum seekers and the Polish security forces, who were forced to use water cannons and tear gas to stop attempts to cross the border.
And the news monitoring and verification agency of the Al-Jazeera network, Sanad, held a lengthy dialogue with a spokesman for the Polish security forces, Stanisław Harin, during which he stressed his country’s continued repelling of any attempts to cross the border, as it is a national security issue for the European Union as a whole.
At the same time, he held Harin responsible for the Belarusian regime, which sees that it uses asylum seekers as a political pressure card, without any considerations of the conditions in which they live at the borders.
At first, we would like to know the latest developments on the border with Belarus?
The Belarusian authorities are implementing a plan aimed at permanently destabilizing the Polish border, which is also the external border of the European Union. Every day (usually in the evening/night hours) there are several collective attempts to cross the Polish border by force in its various sections.
Groups of dozens or hundreds of people participated in these experiments simultaneously; It is supported and instigated by Belarusian service officers who actively participate in destroying border security, throwing stones or blinding Polish officers with laser light, as well as committing provocations such as blank shots at Polish officers and soldiers.
Recently, both groups – the Belarusian and foreign service officers – have become increasingly aggressive. A number of Polish officers and soldiers were injured during such attacks on our borders.
The provision of shelter to a large number of migrants in a logistics warehouse near the border and the development of infrastructure around it (opening catering facilities, currency exchange office), may indicate a desire to maintain tension for a longer period of time and the use of foreigners inside for the political purposes of the regime In Minsk, despite numerous attempts to cross the border by force, aggression and provocation by groups of immigrants and Belarusian officers, the Polish border is tight and well-protected.
From your point of view, who is responsible for the difficult conditions that asylum seekers live in at the borders?
Seduced by promises of easy entry into the European Union, foreigners fell into the trap set by the Belarusian authorities, which decided to use them in a cruel and cynical political game against Poland and the European Union as a whole.
Since June 2021, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been launching hybrid war-like measures against the European Union; To this end, he created an illegal immigration route aimed at destabilizing the situation in Poland and the European Union.
And the migration route is also a way to earn huge amounts of money, which goes to the Lukashenko regime, and the institutions and services involved in this practice. The foreigners who are currently on the Belarusian side – mainly for economic reasons – decided to take advantage of the offer to enter the EU countries illegally via the Belarusian route.
It should be noted that they came to Belarus legally, according to all procedures; They are staying in Belarus as tourists, so Lukashenko is responsible for their safety and fate.
Does Poland refuse asylum seekers to cross and transfer to other European countries such as Germany? And why?
Poland’s eastern border is also the external border of the European Union, so we are obligated to protect our borders. International law and treaties oblige each signatory to do so.
Our country – realizing the above – cannot accept illegal immigration from Belarus; Anyone wishing to enter the Polish territory or any other EU member state is obliged to do so legally, after obtaining the relevant entry documents (visas) from the consulates of the EU member states.
In this regard, it is not important whether the trip is for a transit reason only on the way to another country in the European Union or whether it is related to the final destination; Crossing the borders of the state must take place at points designated for this purpose, i.e. official border crossing points. Poland may not be a target country for these foreigners, they just want to pass through its territory to the West, but at the same time we cannot accept that.
Press reports indicated the use of violence by Polish security forces during their recent confrontations with asylum seekers. What is your answer?
Polish troops were repeatedly the target of attacks carried out by aggressive groups of immigrants, with the support of Belarusian forces. In accordance with the procedures, the officers guarding the Polish border are carrying out defensive actions aimed at stopping the attackers’ assault. During the last two organized attacks on the Polish border, the migrants used stones and logs as well as hand grenades they received from Belarusian officers. In contrast, the Polish forces used tear gas and water cannons. To repel the attack, and to prevent illegal border crossing.
A few days ago we faced a real attack organized and controlled by the Belarusian forces, as a result of the aggressive actions of the immigrants, many Polish officers and soldiers were injured and went to hospital for treatment, our actions were defensive in nature and were an appropriate and justified response to the dangerous attack of the immigrants (with the support of the Belarusian side), who were trying to push border barriers.
Under normal circumstances, would Poland accept asylum seekers from different countries around the world? And what do you offer them?
Poland allows, on the basis of national legal procedures and signed international agreements, to grant asylum or international protection to aliens who fulfill the conditions stipulated in this regard. This mainly concerns people who in their countries of origin are at risk of persecution, or at real risk of losing their life or health.
Those who are waiting for a decision on their refugee status are accommodated in places designated for this purpose, and in the event of a positive decision to remain in Poland, social assistance, medical care, access to the labor market, and education are provided by the Polish state. Poland’s immigration policy is run in line with EU standards, but it cannot accept immigration to Poland the way we see it at the border with Belarus.
According to the Polish authorities, a number of asylum seekers died at the border, is there a mechanism to compensate these victims or their families?
The regime of Alexander Lukashenko naively exploits these people, using them as a tool to destabilize another country; The whole operation is under the control of the Belarusian forces, their intelligence services, any victim of these actions burdens Alexander Lukashenko and his comrades.
Do the Polish forces really intend to build a concrete wall on the border with Belarus?
By the end of the first half of 2022, a 5.5-meter-high dam will be built along 187 km of the Polish-Belarus border, the core of which will consist of steel elements covered with barbed wire, and equipped with an electronic system of sensors and cameras capable of detecting – in real time – border violations .
What steps does Poland intend to take in the coming days?
Government representatives are taking all necessary measures to stop the Belarusian hybrid offensive targeting Poland and the European Union. We will continue these efforts at the diplomatic level and by taking appropriate measures to actively and resolutely defend the Polish borders against attempts to cross them illegally and violate our territorial integrity. We also target those places where the organizers of this practice are looking for potential immigrants, informing them that the route through Belarus to the European Union is fraud and manipulation.
Finally, how will the crisis of asylum seekers at the border with Belarus be resolved from your point of view?
Minsk does not give up its plan to destabilize the West, Poland remains the number one enemy of Belarus, and beyond our eastern borders, there are still thousands of immigrants brought in by the Belarusian regime and have become weapons in the hands of President Lukashenko.
The authorities in Minsk intend to rule out this situation and use migrants, frustrated and tired of the stalemate in which they find themselves, to put political pressure on our country and the European Union as a whole. We expect that diplomatic measures and the pressure of EU sanctions on the Belarusian regime will make Lukashenko back from the mixed attack on our border. The authorities in Minsk must make calculations of the potential gains and losses from the crisis that they have artificially created. Poland will not back down in Lukashenko’s offensive, mixed and will protect its borders, which are also the borders of the European Union.