Communiqué of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Slovenia on the current situation at the Polish-Belorussian border

Over the past few months, the Belarusian authorities have intensified hybrid warfare activities against the European Union. Illegal migration, organised with the participation of Belarusian services, is intended to destabilise political situation and threaten security of Poland and the European Union. The situation, which is changing dynamically every day, brings more information and challenges.

Despite the passage of time, the situation on the PL-BY border has not improved significantly. Attempts od illegal border crossings are still taking place. Immigrants coordinated by Belarusian services, still try to enter Poland and from here get the other EU countries.

In this way Belarusian authorities use cynically the dramatic situation of people living in the Middle East and other regions to destabilise the political situation and put the security of Poland and the European Union at risk. At the same time Belarus's actions constitute numerous and flagrant violations of international law at a number of levels, in particular under international human rights law.

Only since beginning of the year till 30th of January - 985 attempts od illegal crossings of the border were recorded of which 955 were prevented by the Polish border guards. The numbers for 2021 show 39 670 attempts and 36 175 cases prevented.

It is the Minsk regime which is fully responsible for the individual cases of death from exhaustion, the regime which encourages, advertises and facilitates travelling to Belarus for migration purposes, makes money out of this practice and then forces migrants to cross a very difficult border, irrespective of the migrants' health condition and equipment.

It needs to be highlighted that transports with people from above mentioned regions to Minsk are being still organised by the Belarusian authorities. All those people are/ will be transported to the Polish and European Union's border. Already at this time, according to the Belarusian Red Cross more than 700 migrants remain in Bruzgi logistic centre close to the PL-BY Border and estimations of the Polish Ministry of Interior and Administration reveal around 4-5 thousand migrants on the territory of Belarus. Those numbers will make the situation at the border very difficult also in the upcoming spring and summer. And another innocent people can die.

Four offers to dispatch a humanitarian convoy to cater for the migrants' needs in BY from Polish side have been turned down by the regime in Minsk, what should be considered as a lack of real interest in those poor people's fate from Lukashenko's side.

The circumstances that we are now facing require any political disagreements to be put aside. It is a matter of security of the entire European Community and values that unite us. Only by only by working together can we prevent further humanitarian crises. We must not succumb to the disinformation spread by authoritarian regimes, Europe must unite for a better and safe tomorrow of our citizens and all people seeking help and support here.

Caritas Poland

Offers aid to the migrants in cooperation with local churches and Polish Border Patrol. The near-border regions are offered material as well as financial support. Caritas Poland has launched its first humanitarian aid initiatives in the near-border region as far as august 2021.

Upon Caritas Poland's initiative, polish security forces and local parishes hand out Help Packs to the migrants. So far over two thousand have been handed out. The packs contain water, energy bars, first aid blankets as well as hand warmers. Food, clothing, cleaning supplies and toys are delivered to migration centres. Caritas has also set a number of "Hope Tents" across the border. A detailed display of aid offered so far can be located on Caritas Polska website.

On November 21st, upon the decision of the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference, Apb Stanisław Gądecki, a fundraising initiative took place in all Polish parishes. Near - border Caritas branches are also heavily involved in helping migrants. Over the past few days 1200 blankets, 800 towels as well as funds have been donated to migrant centres.

Polish Humanitarian Action

An established NGO offering humanitarian aid all over the world is also involved in collecting funds. Those will be used to purchase food supplies, clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, first aid kits and thermoses. The organisation also plans to find any necessary medical visits as well as cover the costs of psychological assistance.

Other initiatives

Many initiatives are launched locally by concerned citizens. Houses located next to the border turn on green lights at night. The Green Light initiative is meant to offer emergency assistance to migrants in need. Local citizens offer warm meals, the opportunity to charge any electronic devices or medical supplies.

Basic necessities - personal hygiene materials, food and other items necessary to survive in difficult conditions have been sent to the Polish-Belarusian border on 25th November. The items have been collected upon the Poznan Adam Mickiewicz University initiative. The most necessary goods, including bottled water, as well as food helping to maintain caloric and nutritional values, were included in the transport. The transport also included basic medicine, thermal blankets, sleeping bags, headlamps, backpacks, chargers and powerbanks.