WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland has extended border controls with Slovakia until March 2 to try to stop illegal migrants entering from Slovak territory, the interior ministry said on Friday.

“Due to the continuing threat of illegal migration… the Minister of Interior and Administration extended the temporary reintroduction of border control on the section of the state border with the Slovak Republic for the period from February 2 to March 2, 2024,” it said.

Slovakia is a transit country for migrants mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan seeking to reach western Europe, especially Germany, after crossing into the European Union via Hungary from Serbia, which is not in the EU.

Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria all tightened their borders with Slovakia on Oct. 4. The measures were later extended several times. The Czech Republic said this week it would end temporary controls on its border with Slovakia.

Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria are all part of Europe’s open-border Schengen zone.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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