The Polish Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday that 15 kilometers of the border fence on the Polish-Belarusian border has been completed. The Polish Border Guard is also currently being assisted by around 2,000 Polish soldiers in defending the border against incursions from illegal migrants from Belarusian territory.
The press spokesman of the 16th Mechanized Division Marek Nabzdyjak told the Polish Press Agency that the military is building three kilometers of the fence per day on the border. He said that 150 kilometers of the fence are planned in the first stage of its construction and an additional 97 kilometers are foreseen in the later stages.
Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak announced the wall’s construction on Aug. 23, and the first section of fence was built near the village of Zubrzyca Wielka in the Podlaskie region. The fence is comprised of three layers of concertina barbed wire which are laid on top of one another in the form of large rings. The fence is secured in place by stakes dug into the ground over a meter deep. The whole fence is 2.5-meters tall and also possesses three additional layers of wire on its external side to impede attempts of approaching the fence.
The situation on the Polish-Belarusian border has been complicated by the presence of a group of 24 migrants from Iraq that remains stranded on the Belarusian side near Usnarz Górny village. The Border Guard, police and military have been barring them entry to the country.
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have accused Belarus of organizing an illegal transit of migrants to their territories as part of a hybrid warfare campaign. In a joint declaration, the prime ministers of Poland and the Baltic states accused Belarus of sparking the crisis on their borders, which they say was planned and systematically organized by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s government They also called for Belarusian authorities to cease actions which have increased tensions in the region.
The European Commission (EC) believes that the situation on the Polish-Belarusian border is not an issue of migration but of aggression against Poland. The EC has already started preparations for another sanction package against the regime in Minsk due to the current crisis.
Title image: Polish soldier constructing a security fence on Polish-Belarusian border, source: TT/MON.