The Polish government said it has seen a new wave of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa trying to cross into the country illegally from Belarus, claiming the migrants flew to Russia first.
Poland’s Department of National Security said the Polish border guard reported that the majority of migrants attempting to cross into the European Union via the Poland-Belarus border are from sub-Saharan Africa.
It is alleged that the Africans can legally obtain visas to fly to Russia and then make their way to Belarus, where they attempt to illegally cross the border into Poland, Associated Press References.
“[The migrants] have been issued visas for study or work, but according to testimony obtained by the Border Patrol, they never had such plans and were only using visas to transit the immigration route,” the Department of Homeland Security said.
“At the same time, the Russian administration is facilitating the process of obtaining a visa,” the ministry said, adding: “The actions taken by Russia and Belarus confirm that the artificially created migration route is controlled and coordinated by these two regimes and in the future should we expect that the hybrid operation aimed at destabilizing NATO’s eastern flank will only intensify.”
Last year, Poland accused Belarus of sending migrants across its border, some allegedly at gunpoint, in what was described as a “hybrid war” by the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki visited the border region on Thursday to mark the completion of a new steel wall. https://t.co/jQsh1PEuJh
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 30, 2022
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki spoke about the issue in November 2021, calling it the biggest attempt to destabilize Europe since the end of the Cold War.
“Europe, our common home, is under threat. At this very moment, a hybrid war is taking place on the Polish-Belarusian border, which Alexander Lukashenko, with the behind-the-scenes support of Vladimir Putin, has declared against the entire European Union,” the Polish prime minister said.
Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, some have speculated that Russia may emulate Belarus and try to send migrants across the border to European Union countries in retaliation for economic sanctions.
Charly Salonius-Pasternak, a senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, warned in April that Russia could engage in hybrid warfare as Finland seeks to join the NATO alliance.
The Finnish government has also expressed caution about possible moves by Russia and in June sought reforms to the Border Guard Act and the Emergency Powers Act to deal with a possible future increase in illegal immigrants.
Expert warns Russia could flood Finland with illegal immigrants if country joins NATO https://t.co/fVxcF70kBr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 10, 2022