Restrictions on movement in the Podlaskie and Lubelskie provinces of Poland are expected to end by July 1, with only a 200-meter exclusion zone on the Polish-Belarusian border remaining, Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński announced on Thursday.
In a statement posted on social media, Kamiński explained that the social restrictions will remain in place until June 30, by which time it is expected that the construction of the border wall between Poland and Belarus will have been completed.
The restrictions had been renewed in March of this year and cover 183 settlements in the region.
Originally, they were introduced in September 2021 as part of a localized state of emergency in the two provinces bordering Belarus.
The wall being constructed will stretch for 186 kilometers along the border between Poland and Belarus — its construction began on Jan. 25 this year, and 130 kilometers of the wall has already been completed.
Poland approved construction of the wall and restricted the rights of most people to enter the border area after large numbers of migrants, most of them from the Middle East, began crossing illegally from Belarus into Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.
As the new migration route was established, tens of thousands of people from Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, northern African nations, and even Cuba began trying to enter the EU from Belarus.
The 200-meter exclusion zone is to remain in place as a result of persistent attempts by hopeful migrants to illegally cross the border.
Poland has suspected that Belarus is attempting to facilitate illegal border-crossings as retaliation for sanctions imposed by the European Union on the Lukashenko regime.