Poland mulling decision on stricter checks at border with Slovakia

Mueller said that migrants have been treating Poland and Slovakia as transit countries as they want to reach Germany. Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland may step up border checks at its border with Slovakia to stop migrants crossing Poland on their way to Germany via the so-called Balkan route, the government spokesman has said.

"Poland is close to taking a decision on strengthening controls at its border with Slovakia due to reports, according to which illegal migrants are reaching Poland from that country via the Western Balkans route," Piotr Mueller told a Polsat News private television programme on Monday.

"We are close to such a decision but we want Slovakia to make a clear declaration whether it plans its own measures, but we will probably be going in this direction," Mueller said, adding that migrants "have been treating Poland and Slovakia as transit countries as they want to reach Germany.

"We started to verify these reports after we had received them and we are now facing a decision if we should apply special protective measures at the Polish-Slovak border, or maybe not only at this frontier, as we have been analysing another potential route, namely from the island of Lampedusa," Piotr Mueller said. 

"We are considering the introduction of stricter border checks in this area and steps which will secure these routes," Mueller stated.

According to Mueller, apart from plans regarding the border with Slovakia, the government has also been analysing the strengthening of controls at the border with Germany due to a so called Italian migration route.

The spokesman said that no decision had yet been taken as the government "wanted to do it in agreement with our partners."

"We do not want our decision to surprise them, but it will not depend on their approval as the point is to properly protect these routes in order to make it impossible for migrants to reach the territory of Poland and Germany," Mueller said.

 The Western Balkan route is one of the main migratory paths into Europe.

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