Poland Plans to Build a Belarus Border Wall
The Polish House of Representatives approves the construction of a separation wall on the eastern border with Belarus, as part of Warsaw's efforts to confront the large wave of immigration since the summer of this year.
On Friday, Polish lawmakers approved the construction of a wall on the eastern border with Belarus, in order to stop the wave of immigrants coming into the country.
Since last August, Poland has been witnessing thousands of migrants and refugees attempting to cross its borders, most of whom come from the Middle East and Africa.
Poland confronted these waves of migrants by sending thousands of soldiers in addition to imposing a state of emergency on its borders. Authorities have worked to establish a barbed wire fence, an action that has exposed the Warsaw government to sharp criticism for its toughness in dealing with the crisis.
At the time, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) warned of the increasingly dangerous situation, since the state of emergency prohibited media and humanitarian workers from approaching the border. This action has sparked outrage, prompting the EU to demand "transparency."
Official level statements
Polish President Andrzej Duda vowed to sign the emergency legislation related to the wall within the coming days.
The wall is expected to cost 353 million euros ($407 million) and will extend over a length of more than 100 kilometers.
In the same context, nationalist Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki insisted on Thursday that Poland is "under attack" from Belarus, considering that the wall was necessary to "protect" Poland and that Warsaw had "not asked anyone for help."
The European Union had accused Belarus of being behind the immigration campaign, in response to the sanctions that were imposed on the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Poland was one of 12 EU member states that urged the EU to fund border "barriers" to keep migrants out, but EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen said no last week.
Von der Leyen, the EU's executive secretary, said she assured leaders at a summit in Brussels that the EU has a long-standing position "that there will be no funding of barbed wire and walls."