PICS: Poland Warns Belarus Helping Build Long-Term Illegal Migrant Camps on EU Border

Migrants unload a truck with tree trunks delivered by the Belarusian officials in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12, 2021. - Hundreds of desperate migrants are trapped in freezing temperatures on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised …
Getty Images

The Polish authorities have released footage of supplies being delivered to what appears to be becoming a long-term migrant camp on their border with Lukashenko’s Belarus, accusing the quasi-Stalinist state of trying to engineer a prolonged and destabilising crisis.

“Belarusians are preparing for a long-term influence on Poland and destabilization of our border,” claimed Poland’s Border Guard (Straż Graniczna), sharing footage from the Ministry of the Interior which they said showed supplies being delivered to the makeshift camp which has begun to take form at the Polish-Belarusian frontier.

Photographs taken on the Belarusian side of the border and made available by Getty Images, meanwhile, show trucks delivering timber to migrants, presumably for firewood and the construction of shelters.

Migrants armed with axes were also seen chopping down trees themselves — apparently directly onto the border fence to provide a makeshift bridge into Poland — on Monday.

crisis

Migrants unload a truck with tree trunks delivered by the Belarusian officials in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12th, 2021. Hundreds of migrants on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. / Belarus OUT (Photo by RAMIL NASIBULIN/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

 

border

Migrants unload a truck with tree trunks delivered by the Belarusian officials in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12th, 2021. Hundreds of migrants are on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. / Belarus OUT (Photo by LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

 

border

Migrants carry a tree trunk delivered by the Belarusian officials in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12th, 2021. Hundreds of migrants are on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. / Belarus OUT (Photo by LEONID SHCHEGLOV/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

“On the Belarusian side, preparations are underway to create a large migrant camp on the border with Poland. The Belarusian services deliver the necessary materials,” the Ministry of the Interior said of the footage.

The North Atlantic Council of NATO, of which Poland is a member, has backed the Slavic country in its assessment of the border crisis as an artificially created “hybrid attack” on the West by Lukashenko, warning that his “callous actions endanger the lives of vulnerable people.”

“We will remain vigilant against the risk of further escalation and provocation by Belarus at its borders with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, and will continue to monitor the implications for the security of the Alliance,” the Council stated.

“NATO Allies call on Belarus to cease these actions, to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to abide by international law.”

border

Migrants gather to receive humanitarian aid in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12th, 2021. Hundreds of migrants are on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. / Belarus OUT (Photo by RAMIL NASIBULIN/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

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border

Migrants gather to receive humanitarian aid in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 12th, 2021. Hundreds of migrants are on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. / Belarus OUT (Photo by RAMIL NASIBULIN/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images)

On November 4th, it was reported, per the Polish government, that there had been an incident in which “Polish soldiers located a group of around 250 migrants near the fence,” and that “Belarusian soldiers guarding them threatened to open fire at our soldiers.”

Since then, the number of armed Polish border guards, police officers, and soldiers including activated reserved has far surpassed 10,000, and Lukashenko’s allies in the Kremlin are deploying Russian paratroopers will be carrying out exercises close to the crisis zone “as part of drills to inspect combat readiness”, leading to fears there could be an incident sparking a military clash.

British government minister James Heappey has said that “first of all it is a task of the European Union to protect its borders” and expressed concern about the Belarus migration crisis becoming “a NATO issue”, warning that this would mean entering “some very, very, very, very dangerous territory.”

It has since been announced that some British soldiers are deploying to Poland to support engineering work on the border fortifications currently under construction, however.

migrant

In this handout image issued by the Polish Ministry of National Defence, border police stand guard on the Belarus-Polish border on November 9th, 2021 in Kuznica, Poland. The situation on the border between Poland and Belarus continues to intensify, as hundreds of migrants arrive at the Polish border to enter the EU. (Photo by Irek Dorozanski/Polish Ministry of National Defence via Getty Images)

 

migrant

In this handout image issued by the Polish Ministry of National Defence, soldiers from the Polish Armed Forces patrol the Belarus-Polish border on November 9th, 2021 in Kuznica, Poland. The situation on the border between Poland and Belarus continues to intensify, as hundreds of migrants arrive at the Polish border to join the EU. (Photo by Irek Dorozanski/Polish Ministry of National Defence via Getty Images)

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