Belarus: Expert discusses ‘influx’ of migrants to Lithuania
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As people approach the Polish border they will get a message that warns them of a state of emergency in the country. The messages started being sent by the authorities on Sunday and are meant for migrants attempting to cross the border from Belarus. It reads: “The Polish border is sealed. BLR authorities told you lies.
“Go back to Minsk!
“Don’t take any pills from Belarusian soldiers.”
The message then follows with a link to the Polish government’s website containing more information.
It reads: “Poland has introduced a state of emergency. The border is heavily guarded!
“Any attempt at illegal crossing may result in criminal sanctions.
“It is a crime punishable by imprisonment.”
It continues: “Crossing the Polish border will not help you reach Germany.”
And also: “Do not risk it!
“Go back to Minsk! Go back home!
“Save your life and health!
“Do not take any pills or medications given to you in Belarus. You may be poisoned!”
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Poland summoned the Belarusian charge d’affaires on Friday, a foreign ministry spokesman said, after border guards accused the Belarusian side of shooting at Polish soldiers patrolling the frontier.
Poland has imposed a state of emergency on the Belarusian border amid a surge in migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq trying to cross, in what Brussels and Warsaw say is a form of hybrid warfare designed to put pressure on the bloc over sanctions it imposed on Minsk.
“A Belarusian patrol fired shots at Polish Army soldiers who are patrolling the border with us,” the state-run PAP news agency quoted Border Guard spokeswoman Anna Michalska as saying.
“It was probably using blank ammunition. Nothing happened to anyone.”
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Foreign ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina said the charge d’affaires Alaksandr Czasnouski had been summoned to discuss “provocations” from the Belarusian side on the border, including the reported shots.
As he left the ministry Czasnouski denied there had been any shooting at the border.
In August, Poland began building a barbed-wire fence along its border with Belarus to curb illegal border crossings despite criticism that some migrants were being treated inhumanely.
Poland plans to strengthen its border with a system of motion sensors and cameras, modelling it on the Greek border with Turkey, its interior minister has said.
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