Polish PM criticises the EU Migration Pact

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has strongly criticised the EU’s migration pact, stating that the agreement has hindered his country’s ability to manage migrant flows from Russia and Belarus.

Tusk claims that the migration pact prevents Poland from adequately safeguarding its borders and, by extension, those of the EU. Since before the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus have been orchestrating migrant so-called hybrid attacks towards Poland. Moscow has permitted and even facilitated the passage of migrants lacking proper documentation through Russian territory in attempts to enter EU member states.

Similarly, other countries such as Finland, which joined NATO in 2023, have experienced comparable Russian hybrid attacks in early 2024. „No one can individually vet each person when Russia and Belarus send thousands to the border simultaneously […] They do this intentionally and with calculated intent. If we can handle a thousand people, they send ten thousand, and so forth. Their objective is destabilisation” – Tusk explained. 

He continued by stating that Russian authorities „treat migrants as instruments, as objects” and “aim for us to reach a point where we must compromise our own rights and values„. 

The Polish PM insisted that Poland should not be left „vulnerable in the face of Putin and Lukashenko” due to the EU migration agreement. He further argued that appeals to safeguard migrants’ rights were futile against hostile countries’ efforts to exploit them.

The migrant pact, he told Germany’s Die Welt, is „not a satisfactory response to the challenges we face in Poland,” when asked if he advocated for renegotiation. Tusk refrained from explicitly endorsing the alleged migrant „pushbacks” reported to have occurred on Poland’s borders in recent months.

I will not justify certain methods employed by the Polish border guards, but we cannot be defenceless against Putin and Lukashenko because they not only orchestrate this but also utilise it as a form of leverage,” Tusk concluded. 

 

Image: KPRM

Author: Sébastien Meuwissen

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