Poland reports record number of illegal immigrants on the Belarusian border

Warsaw, Poland — A record number of illegal immigrants have crossed the Belarus-Polish border since Friday, border guards said Monday, Minsk using illegal crossings to put pressure on European Union countries In the accusation that it is.

Countries are seeking help from the EU as illegal immigrants have skyrocketed in Poland and Lithuania in recent weeks and the Vilnius parliament is planning an extraordinary meeting to discuss the issue on Tuesday.

National authorities say that President Alexander Lukashenko used illegal immigrants to pressure the EU to overturn national sanctions and evacuated to Belarusian athlete Krystsina Zimanuskaya, who refused to return from the Tokyo Olympics. He accused him of counterattacking. ..

The Polish Border Guard said in a statement Monday that it had detained 349 illegal immigrants across the Belarusian border since Friday. Immigrants are said to have probably come from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Border guard spokeswoman Anna Miharska said the number of illegal immigrants detained since Friday was record.

According to a statement, the largest group of 85 people was detained on Saturday by officers from Kuzinica station.

This year, the Podrazi branch of the Border Guard, which operates on the border with Belarus, detained 871 illegal immigrants.

In 2020, border guards detained 122 illegal immigrants across the Belarusian border.

On Friday, Poland and Lithuania called on European institutions to help them deal with migrants. The Minister of Interior of the European Union will discuss this issue at an extraordinary meeting on August 18.

Lukashenko said Belarus would retaliate when “attacked” and Western nations should not use sanctions against Belarus.

“”[Sanctions] It can have the opposite effect, as shown by the reality of today’s events at the Belarus-Poland, Belarus-Ukraine, Belarus-Lithuania, and Belarus-Latvian borders, “he said at a press conference on Monday. rice field.

On Monday, the first anniversary of the election, opponents said they had cheated to win Lukashenko. Since he took office in 1994, tens of thousands of people have been on the streets in the biggest challenge to his rule.

He states that he won the elections fairly and responded by cracking down on enemies, many of whom were arrested or exiled abroad.

Alan Charish