‘The first shot may soon be fired’ — Polish Ambassador Przyłębski warns of chaos at border with Belarus

A Polish police car and a military truck are parked at a makeshift check point at the perimeter of the emergency state that covers a 3-kilometer (1.9 mile)-wide strip along the border with Belarus, Chreptowce near Kuznica, Poland, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
By John Cody
4 Min Read

The situation in the border area between Poland and Belarus is worsening. Thousands of migrants are rushing to the West. But Poland will not give in, according to its ambassador to Germany, Andrzej Przyłębski. Unlike Germany in 2015, Poland will be tougher and not open the borders, even if there are unsightly pictures, says Przyłębski in the interview with Junge Freiheit.

Przyłębski noted that, currently, there are around 4,000 migrants at the border, mainly from Afghanistan and Iraq, attacking border officials with wooden blocks, spades, and the like. They brought tents to sleep in and equipment to break the border fence, all with the permission of the Belarusians.

“The situation is coming to a head now because the Belarusian police and soldiers are barely letting them go back to Minsk. They force them to storm the Polish border. Belarusian soldiers have already aimed at our soldiers with weapons. The first shot may soon be fired,” says the ambassador in the interview.

Przyłębski, however, thinks that Poland will be tougher than Germany was in 2015. He is sure that the country will not allow illegal migrants to cross the EU border. By keeping its stance, Poland wants to set an example that the defense of the EU border, contrary to some German idealists, is possible, he explained.

Poland’s ambassador furthermore related that he had not heard anything about declaring a state of war, yet, as Poland’s constitution does not allow extending the state of emergency. However, there is some speculation a state of war could be declared din the end. According to him, this would only happen if Poland was attacked by the so called-green men, the covert Russian, militarized forces seen previously in the Ukraine conflict. He thinks that Belarus would not risk such a conflict because Poland can defend itself.

When asked whether there are concerns about “unsightly” pictures in Poland of Polish forces pushing migrants back, Przyłębski suggested that there are some worries about journalists and the opposition.

“But we will be tougher than Germany back then and will not be frightened by manipulated images. Yesterday, Polish television showed migrants blowing cigarette smoke into a child’s eyes to make them cry, then they took a photo of them and sent it around the world. The Gazeta Wyborcza, considered the Polish flagship newspaper in Germany, published this manipulated image as truth. As you can see, we have traitors in our own country,” notes Przyłębski.

According to the ambassador, Poland feels supported by the EU and Germany with words, but unfortunately not with deeds. Poland would like NATO soldiers to be deployed, as well.

“The most important thing, however, is to create an understanding here and throughout the EU that when this group crosses the border, the next will soon come. Because for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, this is both an opportunity for enrichment (each migrant pays around €10,000 for the trip to Minsk) and revenge against the EU for its support of the Belarusian opposition,” he added.

In Poland, Lukashenko’s actions are interpreted as hybrid war, the ambassador confirmed. But not a hybrid war against Poland, but against the West, in this case, against the EU.

Przyłębski also suggested that Russia shares responsibility for the migrant dispute.

“Because Lukashenko cannot do something like this without Putin’s consent. We hope, however, that the growing discontent of people in Minsk, which is now being flooded with migrants, will bring Lukashenko to his senses,” said Przyłębski, adding that further sanctions must quickly follow.

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