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Poland to fortify border with Belarus against migrants

Belarusian Border Guards patrolling the border (RIA Novosti/CC BY-SA 3.0)
The prime minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, plans to fortify the country’s 400km border with Belarus to counter illegal migration from the east, which he claimed amounted to a “hybrid war”.

Tusk did not specify what form the fortifications would take or how much they would cost, but he did say there were “no limits” when it came to national security, Reuters reports.

He also said they would be along the “entire eastern border”, leaving open the possibility that they could also cover the border with Ukraine and the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

Three years ago, Poland built a 180km length of 5.5m-high fence along the Belarusian border, backed up by a system of cameras and sensors. It was during a visit to this installation that Tusk made his remarks.

He said: “The Polish–Belarusian border is a unique place due to the pressure of illegal immigration. In fact, we are dealing with a progressing hybrid war," the prime minister said as he visited the frontier and met soldiers and guards.

In an apparent reference to Russia, he added: “I want there to be no doubts here. A country with increasingly aggressive intentions towards Poland, such as Belarus, is co-organising this practice on the Polish border.”

The number of illegal migrants trying to cross into Poland has varied over time.

In 2021, when the fence was begun, there were said to be 500 a day. More recently, Polish border guard says there have been about 300 attempts.

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