Migration

Polish, Lithuanian PMs discuss increased security and migration

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The Polish and Lithuanian Prime Ministers said on Friday that strengthening security at their borders with Belarus was the best way to ease pressure from migrant flows, as they expect that the Belarusian “hybrid attack” escalates.

Polish Mateusz Morawiecki and Lithuanian Ingrida Simonyte also said that strengthening bilateral cooperation in business, infrastructure and other sectors would help to act as a bulwark against intensifying hostile pressures on the eastern border of China. European Union. They signed a declaration of broad cooperation.

Morawiecki and Simonyte, along with members of their government, discussed ways to prevent illegal immigration and strengthen security at the European Union’s eastern border.

“We are preparing for a scenario of long-term conflict around our borders and we will strengthen these borders through our cooperation but also through enhanced physical protection against illegal migration, which the regime (Belarusian President Alexander) Lukashenko has turned into a weapon Morawiecki said after the talks.

He said the joint investments and projects will bring the two countries closer not only economically but also in the face of current geopolitical challenges.

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have seen a sharp increase in the crossings of Iraqis, Afghans, Syrians and Africans from Belarus in recent months. The three EU countries accuse Belarus of pushing migrants across their borders and say they see this as part of a “hybrid war” against the EU.

EU President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that by pushing migrants to the EU’s eastern border, the “Minsk regime has instrumentalised human beings”, in what she called a “hybrid attack to destabilize Europe”.

She expressed support for Lithuania, Latvia and Poland in their efforts to block these acts.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said he and his Lithuanian counterpart Arvydas Anusauskas discussed the holding of joint military exercises and the development of cooperation within the Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military brigade based in Lublin, in eastern Poland.

German magazine Der Spiegel said on Friday that Germany was stepping up patrols of its 460-kilometer (280-mile) border with Poland due to increased illegal crossings and attempted smuggling into Germany, mostly from migrants. from Iraq who had entered the EU. from Belarus.

The issue of migrants emerged after Western countries imposed sanctions on Belarus for its harsh crackdown on opposition after authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term last year in elections the West and the opposition say they have been rigged.

Simonyte’s talks in Warsaw were also to include broader questions, relating to the future of the EU and the situation in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

Simonyte was also due to meet with the presidents of both chambers of the Polish parliament, for talks which were to include bilateral issues.

The ministers of defense, interior, climate, finance, social policy, health, infrastructure and education participated in the bilateral talks.

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Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed.


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