Kaczynski says new law needed to solve migrant crisis on border

Poland should have a new legal regulation regarding the situation at its border where there has been a surge in numbers of migrants crossing into the country from Belarus, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, has said.

Poland has for months been struggling to stem a flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants invited to Belarus by the country's strongman president, Alexander Lukashenko, allegedly under the promise they will be able to live in the EU.

On September 2, Poland declared a state of emergency along its border with Belarus in order to deal with the migratory pressure.

In a Saturday interview with private radio station RMF FM, Kaczynski was asked whether Poland had not reacted too late to the migration crisis, having previously known that Lithuania had similar problems. 

The ruling party leader said that the matter had been known long before the introduction of the state of emergency in the border zone, and the government had made all the necessary decisions "many months ago."

Asked what will happen when the state of emergency, introduced for a total of 90 days, ceases to apply, Kaczynski said he believes that although it can be resumed this is not a good solution. 

"I believe that it is better to create a law that meets the real needs. We need a new legal regulation. We have a certain crisis, which may last a long time, so it needs to be properly regulated," he said.

Kaczynski also said that Poland plans solutions for the radical strengthening of its army.

"We must strengthen the military. Soon, such a project will be presented to the Sejm (lower house - PAP) and later to the Senate. I am talking about a radical strengthening of the whole army. This means a very far-reaching change," he said, adding that it regards both armaments and the size of the army.

Referring to suggestions that the border should be sealed while maintaining humanitarian rules, for example by creating humanitarian corridors for migrants, Kaczynski said: "I think we'll keep humanity best if we make Lukashenko, who has problems with humanity, fail."

"We have to defend ourselves, and we keep humanity. Those who suggest otherwise are either very naive or cynical," he said.

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused the Lukashenko government of bringing migrants and then pushing them across the EU border in an effort to destabilise the bloc in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels has imposed on Minsk. 

On Thursday, the Sejm voted through an act enabling the construction of a wall along the Polish-Belarusian border to stop migrants trying to enter.