Poland summons Belarusian charge d’affaires after body found near border
WARSAW (Reuters) – The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the Belarusian charge d’affaires on Thursday after Polish police discovered the body of a migrant near the border with Belarus.
It was the second time in a week that Alexandre Czasnouski had been called to answer questions about the situation at the border, where Poland imposed a state of emergency following an influx of migrants from countries like Afghanistan and Iraq trying to enter the European Union. Union countries via Belarus.
“Police found another body of a person trying to cross the border this morning,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina said by phone.
The second issue discussed was a humanitarian convoy that Poland wants to allow into Belarus, he said.
The Belarusian Embassy in Warsaw did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
This is the sixth body found by Polish authorities near the border since the influx of migrants.
Czasnouski was also summoned to the ministry last week after border guards said Polish soldiers patrolling the border came under fire from the Belarusian side.
The European Commission and Warsaw claim that the flow of migrants was orchestrated by Belarus as a form of hybrid warfare designed to pressure the EU over the sanctions it imposed on Minsk. Belarus has denied this.
Human rights activists have accused the Polish government of treating migrants inhumanely and not allowing them to seek international protection. The government claims that the migrants are the responsibility of Belarus because they are legally in its territory, and that offers of humanitarian aid have been refused.
In Brussels, the European executive summoned emissaries from Poland, Lithuania and Latvia on Thursday on the fate of migrants stranded at their borders with Belarus.
Polish lawmakers are due to vote on building a wall equipped with motion sensors and cameras at a cost of over 1.6 billion zlotys ($ 407 million). Poland started building a barbed wire fence in August.
($ 1 = 3.9350 zlotys)
(Report by Alan Charlish and Anna Koper, edited by Timothy Heritage)