Poland Sees Record Numbers of Illegal Migrant Crossings from Belarus

A picture taken on March 9, 2020 on the Polish side shows Polish border guards and medical staff, with protective clothing, walking during sanitary checks on drivers at Jedrzychowice border crossing, between Poland and Germany, in a measure to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus. - The introduction …
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images

The Polish government has claimed it has seen a record number of illegal immigrants cross from Belarus, with travellers mostly originating from Afghanistan and Iraq.

On Monday, the Polish border guard announced that it had taken 349 illegal immigrants into custody since Friday along the border with Belarus, with spokeswoman Anna Michalska calling it a record.

According to a report from Reuters, the largest single detainment of migrants took place on Saturday involving a group of around 85 people. Border guards claimed most of the migrants appeared to be from either Afghanistan or Iraq.

So far this year, Poland has detained 871 migrants at the border with Belarus compared to just 122 for the entire year in 2020.

The record number of illegal crossings come as Lithuania has accused the Belarusian government, led by Alexander Lukashenko, of purposely helping migrants cross the border as a means to get back at the European Union for sanctions against his regime.

Last week, Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite ordered border guards to repel migrants towards official border crossings, with force if needed.

The European Union migration agency Frontex also released drone footage alleged to show Belarusian authorities directly helping migrants cross into Lithuania.

Many of the migrants who came into Lithuania from Belarus have also been from Iraq. The Belarusian government has been accused of shipping in as many as 4,000 migrants directly from the Middle Eastern country through flights to Belarus’s capital, Minsk, since June.

Following the recent surge in illegal immigrants, Poland and Lithuania have called on the European Union to discuss the issue, with the bloc announcing an emergency meeting on August 18th, which will also be attended by Frontex and the European policing agency Europol.

Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, sent a message regarding the meeting, saying; “With the situation at the Lithuania-Belarus border, the EU has come under a serious security threat and is a witness of state-sponsored weaponisation of illegal migration in Belarus.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.