The ongoing migrant attacks on Polish services at the Polish-Belarusian border which have prompted discussion on triggering NATO's Article 4 were the topic of the latest episode of Rock Rachon.
For about four months, Poland has been dealing with increasing migratory pressure on its border with Belarus. Thousands of migrants from the Middle East have been pushed toward Poland by Belarus in retaliation for the EU sanctions imposed on Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime.
The Polish soldiers are currently cooperating with border guards on securing the border and strengthening the fence which was established along it. But they protect not just the Polish border as it is also the EU eastern border.
Poland has a nearly 90 percent rate of returning illegal migrants back home, while the German rate is 53 percent and the EU average is 32 percent. This means that only three in every 10 illegal migrants are sent back and the rest stay in the EU. This illustrates the EU's policy on this issue. However, the Polish regulations are in line with the international Refugee Convention.
While Poland makes an effort to prevent the crisis from spreading and receives help from some allied countries such as the United Kingdom, at the same time, the European Union institutions are waging a new round of political conflict against the country. According to the EU Observer, the European Commission intends to make Poland, Lithuania and Latvia change their laws regarding migration claiming that their regulations on so-called pushbacks are illegal.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been discussing the migrant crisis on the EU border with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka without including the main parties, such as Poland or Lithuania. This has been met with criticism from the Polish President as well as the government representatives.
Most migrants want to go to Germany anyway, as they can count on many social benefits there. Some of them have been heard shouting “Germany, Germany” while approaching the Polish border. But Germany does not share a border with Belarus and does not have to deal with the increasing number of migrant attacks on border guards and other services.
The tense situation on the borders of countries neighbouring Belarus prompted Poland, Lithuania and Latvia to discuss a possibility of invoking Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
Rock Rachon’s guests were Nicolaus Fest, Tomasz Grzywaczewski, Łukasz Jasina and Matthew Tyrmand.
Nicolaus Fest is a German lawyer, journalist and politician. He is also serving as an Alternative for Germany Member of the European Parliament.
Tomasz Grzywaczewski is a lawyer, traveller and journalist, graduate of Law and Administration at the University of Lódź and a scholarship holder of the “Russian Security Studies” programme at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security in Washington DC.
Łukasz Jasina is a Polish historian, journalist, publicist, film expert and analyst. He currently holds the position of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Matthew Tyrmand is a Polish-American economist, publicist and social activist writing for “Do Rzeczy” and “Wprost” weeklies.