Poland – Faced with a migration crisis provoked by the Belarusian regime on their eastern border, the Polish authorities are working hard to find a solution. They are now planning to build not just a fence but a wall to stop migrants, and they have secured Turkey’s co-operation with regard to upstream intelligence.
The most modern border in Europe
In light of a situation that has kept worsening since the beginning of August, with 605 migrants trying to cross illegally into Poland on 11 October alone, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński has now pledged that the border with Belarus will become “the most modern in Europe” in terms of security, in order to make it “impenetrable”. Consequently, the hurriedly erected 2.5-metre-high barbed wire fence will have to be replaced by a “much higher” wall, inspired in particular by what the Greeks, Hungarians and Spaniards have already achieved in this area.
According to Kamiński, the future border wall will also have a perimeter system of motion sensors and thermal cameras:
“Every time there is an attempt [to cross illegally], the information will be sent to our guards instantly, and they will react immediately.”
As a result of the current crisis, Poland currently has 4,000 border guards and 3,000 troops watching its border with Belarus, with plans to send more troops in the coming days. The state of emergency at the border, which was declared on 2 September for a 30-day period, has been extended for a further 60 days.
Upstream cooperation with Turkey
However, the Polish government is not content to deal with this problem only at the border, but is also trying to act upstream. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu agreed in Warsaw on 4 October to intensify cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services to fight the illegal migration of Arab citizens from Belarus to Poland. “I raised the issue of problems related to illegal and uncontrolled emigration to our country from Belarus.
I also asked my Turkish colleague to pay more attention to the practice that has been going on for several months, which is related to attempts by migrants arriving in Minsk to cross our eastern border via various routes”,
Rau said after his meeting with Çavuşoğlu, explaining that some were transiting through Istanbul on their way to Belarus. Çavuşoğlu confirmed that Turkey was willing to cooperate with Poland and Lithuania to close the new migration route opened up by Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.