Common position of the heads of the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian parliaments on the crisis at the border

  • We strongly condemn the continued instrumentalisation of illegal migration sponsored by the Belarusian regime; we call for the immediate implementation of the new package of sanctions against the Lukashenka regime, the document reads
  • At a press conference in the Sejm, Witek emphasized that today we are struggling with a crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, as well as on the borders of Lithuania and Latvia with Belarus
  • As she added, in connection with this situation, the Polish government, including the minister of foreign affairs and the prime minister, is conducting a diplomatic offensive, who hold a number of meetings
  • More information can be found on the Onet homepage

Speakers of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the Riigikogu of the Republic of Estonia, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia issued on Tuesday a joint statement on the migration crisis at the borders of the EU and Belarus.

– We are all concerned about what is happening on the eastern border and we decided to adopt the joint position of the speakers of four parliaments, precisely in order to strengthen the actions of our governments – said the Speaker of the Sejm at the press conference, noting that strengthening the actions of governments is a very important task facing parliamentary diplomacy.

Speakers of the Polish, Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian parliaments stressed that “the aggressive actions of the unlawful regime of Alexander Lukashenka have reached an unprecedented level”. “They provoke a crisis at the EU’s external borders, threaten the security of the entire region and deliberately endanger the lives of defenseless people. This is a violation of international law and political obligations, and a disregard for fundamental human rights,” they stated.

They strongly condemned “the continued instrumentalisation of illegal migration, artificially created as part of hybrid operations directed against Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, and thus the entire European Union for political purposes,” sponsored by the Belarusian regime.

The marshals called on the international community, in particular the countries of origin and transit of migrants, to firmly oppose these actions, to take the necessary steps to prevent the authorities in Belarus from forcing migrants to cross the EU border illegally, and to hold the regime in Belarus responsible for these violations.

“We condemn the actions of the unlawful regime of Lukashenka, which prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid offered by neighboring countries to migrants gathered and detained by the regime of Alexander Lukashenka in the border areas,” they stressed.

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They also called for the immediate implementation of the new sanctions package, agreed at the meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union Member States, targeting persons and entities involved in and contributing to the activities of the Lukashenka regime aimed at facilitating the illegal crossing of the Union’s external borders. “Instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes cannot be tolerated. If such actions were continued, the European Union should consider further sanctions in line with its principle of grading sanctions” – they assessed.

The marshals stated that “responsibility for regulating the situation at the border rests entirely with the illegal regime of Alexander Lukashenka, and the EU and its member states should continue to be guided by the joint decisions and political positions adopted by the European Council and the Foreign Affairs Council.”

“We strongly believe that there is an urgent need to adapt the EU acquis to the new realities in order to ensure the strict protection of the EU’s external borders and to provide effective measures to prevent illegal border crossing. Therefore, we look forward to the European Commission’s proposals to adapt the EU legal framework through specific measures and appropriate measures. financial support to improve border security and thus strengthen the EU’s external borders “, wrote the Speakers of the Sejm, Riigikogu, Seimas and Saeima.

Witek said that the statement would also be made available to the media in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. – We will also try to popularize this position wherever possible, through our embassies in different countries – she said. She added that the parliamentarians have a special mandate and show support for their governments taking steps to end the conflict at the borders with Belarus as soon as possible.

When asked who would pay for border protection, she emphasized that the statement said “about securing all external borders of the European Union by legal acts and other means by the European Union.”

– So this statement is not only about the Polish-Belarusian border, but we are talking about the Polish-Belarusian, Lithuanian-Belarusian, Latvian-Belarusian border, but also about the other external borders of the European Union, because the problem with the migration crisis has lasted since 2015 – she said Marshal of the Sejm.

At the same time, she emphasized that today is a new phase of this crisis, because “we are dealing with a hybrid war, that is, the deliberate drawing of migrants and preparing them for an attack on the border.” – As Poles, we are doing well, but Lithuania has a longer border with Belarus than Poland, and is a much smaller country – she added.

– Let us remember that we appeal for support and new solutions concerning all EU borders, not only the Polish-Belarusian border – emphasized the Marshal of the Sejm.

She also assessed that the sanctions imposed on the Belarusian regime should be “radical, firm, and burdensome.” In this way, she answered the question of how she assessed the real chances of working out a tough stance within the European community and introducing sanctions against the Belarusian regime, not only personal, but also tough trade and economic sanctions.

The Speaker of the Sejm was also asked whether, due to the difficult weather situation, organizations providing humanitarian aid should be admitted to the border with Belarus. – If state aid, humanitarian aid, is not admitted – then I do not understand how humanitarian aid organized by someone else could be admitted – she replied.

– We want to help those who are on the Belarusian side, Lukashenka is responsible for them, not the Polish government, and not the Polish services. The governments of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland are always reaching out, we want to provide this humanitarian aid, we are ready, we are trying and stopping at the border, we do not have permission to let this help in, please answer the question who is to blame here – emphasized Witek .

There has been a crisis at the borders of the EU and Belarus, since the number of attempts to illegally cross the Belarusian border with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland by migrants from the Middle East, Africa and other regions increased sharply in the spring. The EU and member states emphasize that this is the result of the deliberate actions of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime, which instrumentally uses migrants in response to sanctions.

From the beginning of the year, the Border Guard recorded over 34 thousand. attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border, of which over 6,000 in November, nearly 17.3 thousand. in October, almost 7.7 thous. in September and over 3.5 thousand. in August.

From September 2, due to the migratory pressure in the border zone with Belarus in 183 localities in the voivodeship In Podlasie and Lublin regions, a state of emergency is in force. It was introduced for 30 days under the ordinance of President Andrzej Duda, issued at the request of the government. The Seym agreed to extend the state of emergency for another 60 days – until December 2.

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