EC says it won't let illegal migration into EU

The European Commission cannot accept any attempts by third countries to incite or allow migration to the European Union countries, Commission spokesman Christian Wigand told a press conference in reference to the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border.

The European Commission (EC) was asked about reports by the media and intergovernmental organisations about "the forced expulsion of migrants from Poland outside the territory of the EU", and whether the European Commission had contacted the Polish government in this matter.

Wigand told reporters that the EC firmly rejects attempts to instrumentalise people for political purposes.

He said that orderly, robust border management and full respect for the fundamental rights of migrants are needed as the only effective and humane way of managing migration.

He added that the EC is working closely with the Polish authorities to support them in the effective management of external borders, in line with EU law and with full respect for fundamental human rights, to ensure the migrants effective access to the asylum procedure."

According to official sources, a group of 24 people, including 20 men and four women but no children, have been camped at Usnarz Gorny on the Belarusian side of the Polish-Belarusian border. The group do not want to remain in Belarus but Poland has refused them entry.

In recent months, increasing numbers of migrants from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other countries have been attempting to cross from Belarus into Poland and Lithuania. Belarus has been accused of encouraging the crossings as part of a "hybrid war" against the two countries in retaliation for their support of EU sanctions on its Alexander Lukashenko regime.

The Polish side has argued that the migrants arrived in Belarus legally and were treated "instrumentally" by the Lukashenko regime.