Hybrid migrant war between Belarus, Poland and the EU
In front of the art-deco attraction, “Palace of Culture and Science” in the centre of the Polish capital Warsaw rebellious Belarusian punk is being played. Poland has been offering refuge to thousands of Belarusian political activists, artists and members of the Belarusian opposition since last year, when Belarusian dictator of27 years Alexander Lukashenko pronounced himself a winner.
The white-red-white flags (the colours of the
of opponents of the Lukashenko regime) can often be found in the Polish capital, support for the Belarusian diaspora is omnipresent.
“Thousands of Belarusians have paid a heavy price for their dream of freedom. They have been exposed to repression, imprisonment, forced emigration and even death,” we read in the exhibition “Long Live
Belarus!” at the European Solidarity Centre, Poland’s largest port
Gdansk, the world’s largest port city.
On Monday, the already fragile relations between the two countries were again frayed. According to Poland, the Belarus has sent thousands of migrants to Poland’s Eastern border.
“Belarus wants to artificially create a crisis on the European Union’s eastern border in retaliation for stricter sanctions imposed on Minsk by the EU,” the Polish authorities commented.
The Polish government has sent 14,000 security troops to the border, rejecting an offer from the European Union for military aid.
The political game played by Belarus and Poland remined the one of the migrant border crisis in Idomeni - the border between North Macedonia and Greece in early 2016 and the defiance of the Turkish president
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who opened the borders with Eastern Greece on the river in February and March last year.
In both cases, Greek border forces, with the help of Frontex, attempted to prevent the entry of migrants.
No entry for journalists
Local journalists are not allowed to report on the buffer zone created on the Belarusian-Polish border. The Polish authorities have declared the Kuznica area an emergency zone already in September and banned the entry of journalists and humanitarian organisations.
“Not only we have no insight into the situation, but our journalist on the other side of the border has been in jail in Belarus for six months,” explains the deputy editor of the largest Polish daily, Gazeta Wyborcza, Bartozs Wielinski.
Wielinski explains that the ministry is not answering questions related to the crisis, which has been ongoing at the border for for several months. On the other hand, the harsh rhetoric from the Polish authorities suggests that the political conflict is also benefiting the domestic political top, which urgently needs to boost its popularity in EU.
Article was originally published in Slovenian.