WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s foreign minister accused Germany of trying to interfere in his country’s internal affairs after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Warsaw needs to clarify allegations that Polish consulates in Africa and Asia sold temporary work visas to migrants for thousands of dollars each.
Poland’s right-wing ruling party, Law and Justice, is facing questions about the alleged scheme ahead of an Oct. 15 national election in which it is seeking a third term in power.
Scholz, whose government is under pressure to do more to limit migration to Germany, called on neighboring Poland on Saturday to provide clarification of what was happening.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau retorted late Sunday on X, formerly Twitter, that Scholz’s statement “violates the principles of the sovereign equality of states.”
Rau said he appealed to Scholz “to respect Poland’s sovereignty and refrain from statements that damage our mutual relations.”
Rau himself is under political pressure at home because the alleged visa scheme operated out of the Foreign Ministry.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said last week that Germany was considering establishing short-term border checks with Poland and the Czech Republic to help control the number of migrants from entering the country.
Faeser told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that setting up temporary police checks at border crossings would help Germany prevent the smuggling and trafficking of people.
She added that the increased border checks would need to be combined with random police checks that are already being carried out.
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic belong to Europe’s visa-free zone, commonly known as the Schengen Area.
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