WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland hopes to bring in border guards and police from Finland, Germany and Greece to help patrol its frontier with Belarus, a senior official said on Thursday, amid mounting concerns over migration pressures from the east into Europe.

“Preparations are underway and these are countries that are very experienced in border protection. Especially, for example, Greek experiences can be very useful,” a senior government official told reporters.

The border between Poland and Belarus has become a flashpoint as Western officials accuse the government in Minsk of using migrants it brings from in from outside of Europe as “hybrid warfare”.

The European Union’s border agency, Frontex, says the number of people trying to cross into the EU alongside the bloc’s eastern border has nearly doubled in the first five months of 2024, although the route remains relatively small compared to other ways into Europe.

Officials in Poland and Finland have warned in recent months that the number of people trying to cross via Belarus or Russia could rise significantly in the near term.

Greece is extending its fencing on its border with Turkey, while Finland seeks to close a new migrant route via Russia to Europe by deploying more border guard patrols, drones and electronic detectors and by building fences.

Polish Defence Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz said in an interview with public television on Thursday that migrants coming through from Belarus might include people trained to attack Polish soldiers.

Warsaw’s centrist government hopes to raise the issue at the upcoming NATO summit in Washington next week.

Earlier this week, Germany and Poland presented a joint action plan in which they agreed to discuss boosting defence cooperation, including a stronger NATO presence on the alliance’s eastern border, and the coordination of Ukraine aid.

(Reporting by Barbara Erling; Editing by Bill Berkrot)