Poland should stand strong and not yield to migrants besieging its borders
The EU has two choices now: it can do nothing over the upcoming migrant crisis and wait for things to get only worse, or they can start building frontier walls to manage the migrant inflow properly.
Poland’s eastern border with Belarus is under siege, as thousands of migrants attempt to make their way into the European Union. This year alone, 23,000 migrants have attempted to cross into Poland from Belarus – 11,300 of those in October. Now, a further 4,000 have arrived at the frontier and are attempting to make their way over the border, some by using force.
The Poles have responded by erecting a barbed wire fence and deploying 12,000 armed troops to the region. In the longer term, the Polish government has announced its intention to build a 350 million euro border wall that stretches the length of its frontier with Belarus.
In the meantime, the scenes on the Polish border are ugly, as young men – it is always predominantly young men, regardless of what the mainstream media tell you – attempt to force their way into Poland, only to be rebuffed by burly border guards. And now, worryingly, Piotr Muller, a Polish government spokesman, said he expected “an escalation...which will be of an armed nature.”
The Poles are pointing the finger directly at the Belarusian government, which it claims is actively marching the migrants to the border. There are also accusations that the migrants are being flown into Belarus and given tourist visas. The purpose, some suspect, is to cause another migrant crisis in Europe. The Belarusian government, however, rejected this allegation, and in turn has accused the Poles of “military activity” on the border.Also on rt.com Belarus accuses Poland of ‘military activity’ on border
Nevertheless, regardless of who is telling the truth, there is a humanitarian crisis developing on the border with reports that some migrants are suffering from hypothermia, and others have already died due to the freezing conditions.
Now what can be done to solve the problem? Firstly, in my opinion, Poland cannot back down and allow the migrants to cross into the EU. Of course, the liberals in Western Europe are aghast at Warsaw’s robust response to the crisis, and Amnesty International has accused Polish authorities of “an unlawful pushback” against the migrants.
However, I guarantee that if the Poles capitulate, more migrants will head to the border and the suffering will be even worse in the coming winter months. And secondly, I believe the only way Europe can cope with this mass movement of people is through the erection of border walls.
I am not alone in this belief, as last month 12 interior ministers from EU member states, including the Polish minister, wrote a letter to the European Commission demanding the funding of border fences and walls. The letter argued that “physical barriers appear to be an effective border protection measure that serves the interest of the whole EU, not just member states of first arrival.”
These arguments were, however, dismissed by the commission president Ursula von der Leyen, who told reporters that “there is a longstanding view in the European Commission and in the European Parliament that there will be no funding of barbed wire and walls.”
This has set Brussels on a collision course with many of its member states, and particularly those on the bloc’s southern and eastern frontiers. Indeed, last week Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announced that he wanted a retrospective financial contribution from Brussels for the building of a 523 kilometre wall on his country’s southern border.Also on rt.com Orban’s uniting Europe’s Right. That’s a problem for Brussels
And all this happening before the dirt truly hits the fan next year, when hordes of Afghans will attempt to make their way onto the European continent. Indeed, back in April, which was four months before Joe Biden’s scuttle from Kabul and the Taliban takeover, Turkish foreign policy expert Kemal Kirişci warned that “a mass exodus of refugees fleeing Afghanistan could spark another migration crisis.”
So, the EU member states on the frontiers have two choices: they can do nothing and await the coming crisis, or they can act now and start building walls so that the migratory flow can be managed properly. But they must be aware that if they do the latter, then they will receive no help from Brussels and criticism from the liberal West.
Interestingly, the Poles may well have an ally in Germany, as the country’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer recently said, “we cannot criticise them [Poland] for securing the EU’s external border with admissible means.” If that is the case, then why doesn’t Germany use its financial leverage and force Brussels to fund border walls? After all, as Seehofer also said, “the Poles are fulfilling a very important service for the whole of Europe.”
My advice to Poland would be to build that wall along the Belarusian border as soon as possible, and then bill Brussels for the 350 million it has cost the Polish taxpayer. They will be doing the whole of the European Union, and conversely the migrants, a massive favour.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.