Poland both welcomes Ukrainian refugees, setting an example of hospitality, and keeps pushing Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis and Afghanis back to Belorussian forest
Almost two months have passed since Putin’s Russia waged war on Ukraine. On the very first day of fighting, the Polish government declared the Polish-Ukrainian border open for refugees and set up first reception centers. What happened next was one of the most, if not the most heart-warming episodes in the 33-year long history of the Third Polish Republic: ordinary citizens rushed to support the refugees. The NGOs and local authorities set up information booths at bus and train stations. People welcomed Ukrainians at their own homes. Schools, museums and cultural centers organized activities for refugee children. The parliament quickly voted for a special law allowing Ukrainians to register and start working immediately. Public space was filled with Ukrainian flags and solidarity emblems – in both big cities and small towns. Even memories of darker moments of the common history seem to fade away: at the moment, the absolute majority of Poles agrees that it was Ukraine which fell victim to Russian aggression, and that Ukrainians need, and should receive, our help.
Interview with the Romanian expert on good governance in the context of the three countries application for accession to the EU
On 9 March 2022 Cross-border Talks interviewed the Romanian expert on good governance Codru Vrabie about what is realistic to happen on the EU road of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, when they have war or frozen conflicts in their territories, what can the eastern countries in the EU do for them and what have been the good stories for reform in change in them, especially in the Republic of Moldova.
The Iranian Labour News Agency speaks to Malgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat about the migrants-related humanitarian catastrophe on the Polish-Belarussian border and its political dimensions that deal with the Belarussian president, the Polish prime minister, the EU and its migration policy
Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat is a Polish political scientist and journalist, expert on Central and Eastern European politics. She is also deputy editor-in-chief of website Strajk.eu. Below is the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA)’s interview with her about the current migration crisis at Belarus–Poland border.It was published on 25 November 2021.
Reporting from the border area between Poland and Belarus, where a migrant crisis has been unfolding since the summer of this year
Poland has become a hotspot of the European migrant crisis after people from the Middle East started flying to Minsk and from Belarus to enter the EU. The Polish government swiftly introduced a state of emergency this summer, restricting access to the border area for journalists and aid workers. In October, President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill that enshrines the practice of pushing migrants out of Poland without giving them the right to seek asylum in the EU. The measure is considered illegal under international human rights and refugee law. In this context, Polish journalist Rut Kurkiewicz-Grocholska from the Strajk portal travelled to the border area and shared pictures and emotions from her encounters there.The two recent peer-to-peer discussions on Cross-border talks about the migrant crisis can be found here and here.
Malgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat makes an update to the previous Cross-Border Talks segment on migrant crisis on EU’s northeastern borders: why the Polish government doesn’t provide aid to migrants, what is the EU’s position and how the human toll of this crisis will increase
This is the transcript to an update interview on the migrant crisis at the Polish-Belarussian border. The interview was recorded on 25 October 2021. The first interview on that issue was made on 18 September 2021. Its transcript can be found here.Further read on the recent development can be Claudia Ciobanu’s article at the Balkan Insight.
Crisis around Belarus has entered a new phase: with desperate people used as political tools
The Cross-border Talks
On 18 September 2021 The Cross-border Talks made a detailed segment on the migrant crisis that has been troubling the EU countries that border Belarus. After the Belarussian protests of 2020, geopolitical tensions between Poland, Latvia and Lithuania on one side and Belarus increased significantly. What we witness one year later shows that migrants from the Middle East, people trying desperately to leave their war-stricken and impoverished condition in the homelands, are treated by both the Polish and the Belarussian state as “weapon”, as “evil”. The humanistic aspects of this migrant crisis get marginalised by the security machines.
This is the transcript of the 18 September 2021 interview on the migrant crisis. On 25 October 2021 an update interview was recorded, whose transcript can be seen here.