"It is obvious that this is a largely organised migration phenomenon, with the active complicity of the Belarusian government, which is conducting what can be described as a 'hybrid war' through these manoeuvres," said Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), opening a current affairs debate today on the situation of migrants on the Belarus border.
"But what concerns us today is the dramatic fate of these men, women and children, who are real hostages, the innocent victims of political considerations that are being played out on their backs," he added.
At the request of the PACE President and the Presidential Committee, Mr Fridez visited Poland on 18 and 19 November, together with Anne-Mari Virolainen (Finland, EPP/CD), author of the report The instrumentalisation of migratory pressure at the borders of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with Belarus adopted by PACE in September 2021, as part of a mission to assess the situation from a humanitarian angle.
"Confronted with the absolute urgency of the dramatic situation of these poor people, we must act without delay, regardless of any other consideration. And we must encourage all our member countries to show solidarity with Poland and, if necessary, also with the Baltic States, depending on how the crisis develops," said Mr Fridez.
"Also by being prepared to accept migrants in our countries too. Someone has to reach out to these unfortunate people, and the only recourse today is Poland, the victim in this affair," he concluded.