Poland PM: Foreign divers near key port posed no threat

Jan 19, 2023, 12:44 PM | Updated: Jan 20, 2023, 2:52 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister and a senior security official say that foreign divers rescued from near a key port where they had no authorisation to be posed no threat to vital infrastructure or public safety.

Premier Mateusz Morawiecki made the statement late Thursday after receiving a report on the incident near an oil port in the Gulf of Gdansk which had raised security concerns given the high tensions with Russia over energy deliveries. The divers had Spanish identity documents.

“Based on what the (security) services know, I can say that the incident cannot be seen as an attempted attack on the country’s critical infrastructure,” Morawiecki said during a meeting with young people at his office.

A high official for national security, Stanislaw Zaryn, also said that the actions of the “Spanish citizens who were rescued on the Baltic Sea posed no threat to Poland’s security or to the security of critical infrastructure” and that the divers “committed no crime on Poland’s territory.”

According to Polish media, the divers were rescued early Sunday after they sent a distress message when their unregistered small boat malfunctioned in stormy weather. They were equipped with professional diving gear and said they were looking for amber, but none was found in the boat. They had no permission to dive in the gulf.

Despite a high level of security introduced across Poland because of the country’s support for neighboring Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, police released the men. That has raised questions — more so because the phone numbers they gave turned out to be inactive.

In raising their concerns, experts were pointing to the underwater explosions last summer that damaged the Nord Stream pipelines that run on the Baltic Sea bed and were to carry Russian gas to Germany. Swedish and Danish authorities have said the leaks were sabotage.

Some media in Poland were suggesting the three divers might have been involved in a smuggling ring and could have been searching for contraband.

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Poland PM: Foreign divers near key port posed no threat