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On Tuesday (August 31), Poland’s Council of Ministers sent a request to President Andrzej Duda to declare a state of emergency in parts of the country’s two easternmost regions: Podlaskie and Lubelskie. The request will arrive on the president's desk on Tuesday, and come into force as soon as he signs it.

The state of emergency would last 30 days and cover exclusively the border strip. In the Podlaskie region, it will cover 115 towns. In Lubelskie - 68.

During a press conference following Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said:

- The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border is still a crisis, due to the fact that Alexander Lukashenko has decided to push people out mainly from Iraq. We must stop these aggressive actions authored in Minsk by Alexander Lukashenko's acolytes.

The Prime Minister announced that a catalog of restrictions is to be introduced under the state of emergency. The restrictions, however, are not supposed to interfere with the professional activities of residents, including those involved in agriculture.

In a blunder that can only be characterized as an ironic Freudian slip, the Minister of Interior and Administration Mariusz Kamiński called the state of emergency a "martial law" on two separate occasions.

According to Minister Kamiński, no tours and no "actions and artistic happenings" will be allowed in the zone covered by the state of emergency.

-The restrictions will minimally affect residents, while they will be of significant importance for outsiders- he pointed out and added: - The active phase of the Russian army's military maneuvers begins on September 10. They will partially also take place in Belarus. We must take into account various potential provocations. It is about the safety of our citizens.

Commenting on the protest action of 13 activists who on Sunday (August 29) cut through a barbed wire fence that Poland set up on its border with Belarus to stop migration, the Minister tweeted: "The situation that occurred on our border is absolutely unacceptable. The perpetrators who broke the fence have been detained by the Border Guard and will face all criminal consequences of their actions. Similar acts will be met with our firm response".

According to the Polish Border Guard, some 3,200 foreigners attempted to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border in August alone. On Tuesday (August 31), the Border Guard reported on Twitter: "On Monday, August 30, Border Guard officers thwarted 50 attempts to illegally cross the border from Belarus to Poland. They detained 21 illegal immigrants: 9 citizens of Iraq, 4 citizens of Syria, 4 Afghan nationals, 3 citizens of Egypt, 1 citizen of Lebanon, and 1 citizen of Armenia for assisting in illegal border crossing".


Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

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