The German government will deploy additional police forces at the Polish border to crack down on increasing traffic from the Belarus route, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced.
Germany has been facing a new surge in irregular migrant crossings, mainly from Syria and Afghanistan by way of irregular migration at the Polish border. The police registered more than 8,000 illegal border crossings related to the migrant route from Belarus to Poland nine months before March, Welt reports.
“We’re acting as is required by the current situation and hand in hand with our neighbours,” Faeser said after a visit to the joint centre for German-Polish Police and Customs Cooperation in Poland Tuesday. “Several police units” will be deployed to conduct mobile checks in the area.
Authorities suspect much of the migration is being driven by the Belarusian and Russian governments to cause social disruption in European countries that support Ukraine against Russia’s invasion.
Faeser also criticised Belarus for orchestrating “migratory pressure”, which “is also to some extent controlled migratory pressure”. Germany and Poland must jointly counter this “with intensified measures here at the border, but also on both sides on the other side of the border,” she said.
Already in 2021, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko opened his country’s borders to Poland for migrants to retaliate for EU sanctions after he crushed post-election protests.
The situation at the Polish-Belarusian border has since remained tense, with migrants frequently stuck between the borders of Belarus and Poland, with neither of the two sides showing a willingness to admit the refugees.
A similar case also made headlines on Monday when Poland refused to take in refugees who were left stranded between the two countries.
Regional governments in Germany’s border region have called for reintroducing stationary border controls, that is, continuous controls at fixed checkpoints. Stationary controls are already in place at the border between Germany and Austria.
“We have by every definition a last-resort situation,” Saxony’s Interior Minister Achim Schuster told dpa. Faeser had previously called stationary controls “a last resort measure”, according to Bild.
However, on Tuesday, the interior minister reaffirmed her opposition to this step for their disruptive effect on everyday cross-border interactions.
(Nick Alipour | EURACTIV.de)
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