Polish authorities sent tens of thousands of text messages to Belarusian cell phones. In this way, Warsaw is trying to discourage immigrants who want to travel from Belarus to Poland.
‘The Polish border is closed. The authorities in Belarus told you a lie. Return to Minsk.
The text also states that migrants run the risk of arrest if they cross the border, as it relates to illegal immigration. The Polish Ministry of the Interior said, that the attached letter is a link to websites containing explanations in Arabic, English, Russian and French about Poland’s policy towards illegal immigrants.
In recent months, thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have tried to enter European Union countries such as Poland, Latvia and Lithuania from Belarus. Belarusian leader Lukashenko’s regime allows them to pass in retaliation for EU sanctions. The three countries declared a state of emergency, erected fences and deployed the army.
Polish authorities said this week that they have arrested 8,200 migrants who have attempted to enter Poland since early August. About 12,000 migrants managed to cross the border. They have been imprisoned. Polish customs said 473 migrants were stopped at the border on Tuesday alone.
Several sanctions were imposed on Belarus last year for brutally suppressing the country’s protest movement. It gathered around the electoral victory a year ago, according to the European Union, which President Alexander Lukashenko stole.
Lukashenko responded, among other things, by bringing Iraqi immigrants home and placing them across the borders with EU countries Lithuania, Poland and Latvia. It also ended its cooperation with the European Union to combat illegal immigration and return unwelcome immigrants to the Union.
Meanwhile, Lithuania also began building a 508-kilometre fence on the border with Belarus to prevent migrants from entering the European Union through the largely unsafe border. The government in Vilnius said on Wednesday that coils of barbed wire are being laid in Druskininkai, a spa town in the southern Baltic state.
Preparations are also underway in other parts of the country for the construction of the fence. This fence should be 4 meters high and have barbed wire added as an additional obstacle. The Lithuanian authorities expect to complete the work in 2022. The costs are estimated at 152 million euros.
In neighboring Latvia, work is also underway on a fence on the border with Belarus. In the first stage, the Latvian government is spinning 37 kilometers of barbed wire.
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