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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Belarus border wall to be ready by mid-2022: Polish interior minister

04.11.2021 22:00
Poland's interior minister on Thursday said that a planned protective wall on the country's border with Belarus would be built by the middle of next year to help fend off an influx of migrants from the Middle East.
Polands Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński on Thursday announced that the planned protective wall on the countrys border with Belarus would be installed within six months to help fend off an influx of migrants from the Middle East.
Poland's Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński on Thursday announced that the planned protective wall on the country's border with Belarus would be installed within six months to help fend off an influx of migrants from the Middle East.PAP/Piotr Nowak

Meeting the media to share details of the project, Mariusz Kamiński said the wall "is one of the key steps as we move to firmly restrict the mass, illegal migration to our country," the state PAP news agency reported.

Kamiński told reporters that some 60 countries around the world had already built similar fences, including the United States, Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Hungary.

Poland's Baltic neighbours will put up such structures in the immediate future as well, he said.

Kamiński told the media that the migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border was not spontaneous, but "part of a hybid war." 

"It's the Belarusian regime which has decided, for political reasons, to generate artificial migrant flows to our country, to destabilise the situation in Poland and the European Union," Kamiński said.

"We won't allow any illegal migrant route leading to Europe through Poland," he vowed.

Kamiński told the news conference that the planned wall would stretch over 180 kilometres and consist of 5-metre steel posts, crowned by barbed wire.

The border will also be fitted with "modern, electronic systems," such as movement detectors, as well as day-time and night-time surveillance cameras, Kamiński said, adding that the country's Border Guard service would be "beefed up" as well. 

The new protective wall is "a symbol of Poland's determination" to counteract illegal migration, he told reporters.

Kamiński added that Poland was in constant contact with the EU and that recent border incidents had met with strong statements by Brussels as well as NATO's headquarters.

He also urged the EU to support the Baltic states of Lithuania and Latvia, which he said "are in a similar situation," but whose "defensive potential is much smaller."

"Poland is holding up and we will persevere," Kamiński said.

He added that the country was "determined not to give in to any political blackmail by a hostile regime."

Poland's defence ministry on Thursday accused Belarus of staging "another provocation" against Polish troops helping protect the European Union's external border, saying that Belarusian soldiers guarding migrants threatened to open fire on Polish soldiers.

(pm/gs)

Source: PAP