EC says Poland can use Frontex support to secure border with Belarus
The European Commission has reiterated that Poland can use assistance from EU border agency Frontex to protect its border with Belarus, from where hundreds of migrants are trying to enter the country.
Poland and the Baltic countries have accused the Belarusian government of pushing migrants across their borders in an effort to destabilise those countries as well as the EU.
On September 2, Poland declared a 30-day state of emergency along its border with Belarus.
European Commission (EC) spokesman Adalbert Jahnz said on Thursday that attempts by the Belarusian regime to instrumentalise people have created a difficult situation for the Polish authorities.
He also said the EC had received information about the bodies of three people, believed to be migrants, that had been found on the Polish side of the border last Sunday.
Jahnz said that borders must be effectively managed by EU member states with respect for human rights and controls must not take place at the expense of human lives.
He added that the EC is in close contact with the Polish authorities regarding the situation and the European support is fully available to help Poland solve the border standoff.
Jahnz also recalled the earlier statement of EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who had said on Wednesday that the external border was a shared EU border.
Johansson also said that shared resources should be fully utilised by member states, such as Frontex assistance, as "it is important to protect our border from aggression by the (Alexander) Lukashenko regime."
"To best do this we should fully utilise shared resources and we should do this in a transparent way. This helps to ensure that we uphold shared values and obligations," she said.
On Friday, Johansson is scheduled to discuss with Mariusz Kaminski, the Polish interior minister, the financial and operational assistance available to Poland to help the country manage the EU's external border.