After a long day, visiting the capitals of all three Baltic states, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited the troops guarding Poland’s eastern border late last night. He told the soldiers and border guards that they have to be prepared for the possibility that “the worst could still be ahead of us”. Increasingly large and aggressive groups of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have been trying to storm the Polish-Belarusian border in recent weeks.
Poland, the Baltic States and the EU accuse Belarus of flying in thousands of people from the Middle East and pushing them to cross into EU and NATO members Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, in response to European sanctions.
Morawiecki thanked border guards and soldiers for their service in what he termed a symbolic “border battle”, saying Belarus was carrying out a hybrid rather than conventional war.
He also said border guards had dealt with migrants efficiently and normally, saying accusations of mistreatment were “vile”.
Mateusz Morawiecki said:
“We will not allow anyone to abuse Polish servicemen or your service, your work, which you have fulfilled with such dignity and such efficiency. We are not only wholeheartedly with you, but the whole state of Poland stands behind you. And we will do everything in this border battle, let’s call it like this even if only symbolically, which partly is also a hybrid war and not a conventional war. But we know that the aggressor that is emboldened by weakness unfortunately very often resorts to more resolute methods.”
“In spite of very infamous, I would even say vile, accusations of mistreatment of people, who often find themselves on the other side, not through their own fault, I want to thank you all for combining efficiency with a normal approach to people.”
Poland denies accusations by humanitarian groups that it is violating the international right to asylum by hustling migrants back into Belarus instead of accepting their applications for protection. Warsaw says its actions are legal.