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The Polish government has asked the country’s president to declare a state of emergency following the increase in migratory flows along its border with Belarus.

Thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have attempted to cross illegally from neighboring Belarus in recent months.

The Polish government cited the potential risk of foreign actors and the actions of protesters in Poland as justifications for the statement.

The European Union has accused Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of pushing migrants into the bloc to create instability, in retaliation against EU sanctions.

“The Council of Ministers has decided to ask the president to declare a 30-day state of emergency,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters on Tuesday.

“We must stop these aggressive hybrid actions, which are carried out according to a script written in Minsk and sponsored by Lukashenko.”

The Polish executive demanded that the declaration be made in 183 separate towns and villages along the border.

The state of emergency would ban demonstrations of any kind and require anyone in the country to carry identification, according to the government statement.

But the authorities say that the declaration would have “no interference in the daily life of the inhabitants, nor in their agricultural work”.

The country’s president, Andrzej Duda, a government ally, said he was urgently analyzing the request and hinted that he would accept it.

“Please expect Poland’s security to be strengthened as soon as possible through legal acts, as well as subsequent actions at the Polish border,” Duda said later on Tuesday.

The Polish parliament would have to approve the decision for the declaration to take effect, and the president said he believed lawmakers would back his decision.

Polish border guards said more than 3,200 people attempted to enter Poland illegally from Belarus in August alone.

Meanwhile, more than 30 Afghans have been trapped for more than three weeks between armed Belarusian guards on one side and the Polish armed forces on the other.

Some are sick because they have limited access to food and the weather is deteriorating, with recent rains and falling temperatures.

Poland insists that the group is on Belarusian soil and will not allow migrants to approach Polish territory or seek asylum.

Over the weekend, 13 people from the militant group Obywatele RP (Citizens of Poland) were arrested for trying to cut a new barbed wire fence at the border. Poland has also deployed hundreds of troops to reinforce border guards.

Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski also noted that Russian military maneuvers are expected to start in September in neighboring Belarus.

Speaking alongside the prime minister on Tuesday, Kaminski warned of the “possibly incredibly tense” situation at the border.

“We have to take into account various types of provocations. This is about the safety of our residents,” he said.


euronews Gt

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