We must remain vigilant and cautious: official on Polish eastern border

“Our eastern border is guarded reliably,” Michał Dworczyk, head of the Prime Minister's Office, assured on Thursday, referring to the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-21 military exercises being held in its vicinity. “However, we should be absolutely vigilant and careful, because the Russian Federation and Belarus are unpredictable and aggressive countries,” he pointed out.

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In an interview with Polish Radio, Mr Dworczyk was asked, among other things, whether the Prime Minister had received any information about a possible violation of the Polish border in connection with the Russian-Belarusian Zapad-21 military exercises.

“The Prime Minister is being informed about the situation on our border on an ongoing basis,” he answered, assuring that “our border is guarded reliably.”

However, he stressed that due to the unpredictable nature of both countries, particular vigilance should be exercised.

“The Russian Federation and Belarus are unpredictable and aggressive countries. We have seen it many times, whether in Georgia or Ukraine. Today we ourselves are experiencing a hybrid attack on the Polish-Belarusian border,” he pointed out.

The head of the Prime Minister’s Office was also asked if the state of emergency in the border zone would be extended.

“We are ready to extend the state of emergency, but of course we would like to - as soon as it is possible from the point of view of Poles’ safety - return to normalcy,” Mr Dworczyk replied.

When asked what could lead to the extension of the state of emergency, the official pointed to “pressure on the border, repeated attempts to cross the border and various incidents that could endanger Polish citizens and the Polish state as a consequence.”

However, he stressed that no such decisions have been taken so far.

A state of emergency has been in force since September 2 in a three-kilometre-long strip along the border with Belarus, in parts of the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces. It covers 183 towns and was introduced for 30 days by a decree issued by President Andrzej Duda at the request of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

Government representatives indicate that the migrants are being brought to the eastern border of the EU by the security services of the Belarusian regime, and that the action has the character of a “hybrid warfare.”