Attempted illegal crossings at Polish-Belarusian border hit 3,500 in August

Artur Reszko/PAP

Around 3,500 people tried to illegally enter Poland by crossing the Polish-Belarusian border in August, the Polish Border Guard officers have reported.

"Over 2,500 such attempts were thwarted by border guards," they wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, adding that nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants were detained.

They also said that in August 2020 there was no attempt to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border.

In recent weeks Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have observed increasing numbers of migrants crossing into their territories from Belarus. The three countries have accused Belarus of deliberately sending migrants to their borders in an effort to destabilise the EU.

Anna Michalska, spokeswoman for the Polish Border Guard, has told PAP that on Wednesday alone, by 4 pm, 65 attempts to illegally enter Poland's territory from Belarus were prevented by Polish officers.

On Tuesday, the Polish government asked the president to declare a 30-day state of emergency in the regions bordering Belarus to stem a migration crisis.

The emergency laws will cover 183 localities in the border zone including in the vicinity of the village of Usnarz Gorny, where, on the Belarusian side of the Polish-Belarusian border, a group of migrants have been camped for almost 3 weeks.

Last Wednesday, the Polish army began the construction of barbed-wire fencing on the Polish-Belarusian border designed to keep illegal migrants out of Poland. Ultimately, it will secure the country's land border sections and reach a length of 180 kilometres.