Poland is Building a Protective Border to Kaliningrad

Poland is Building a Protective Border to Kaliningrad

Along the border to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, Poland wants to erect a barbed wire barrier. Warsaw suspects that Russia intends to let migrants into EU territory from there. The work is to begin immediately.

Poland wants to set up a temporary barrier on its more than 200-kilometer border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said the barbed wire was two and a half meters high and three meters wide. The work would begin immediately, and completion is planned for the end of 2023.

“It is very important to us that this border is tight,” emphasized the politician from the Law and Justice Party (PiS). Blaszczak justified the step on the one hand with national security. On the other hand, migrants from the Middle East or North Africa would come to Kaliningrad by plane and try to get to EU territory from there.

The Russian aviation authority has approved flights from the Middle East and North Africa to Kaliningrad.

Additional devices for electronic border surveillance are to be installed along the barrier. On the Polish side, a fence is planned in advance of the border to protect wild animals. There are currently no barriers at the border, but regular border guards patrol the area, said a border protection agency spokesman.

However, a spokeswoman for the Polish border guard stated that there were no illegal entries into Poland from the Kaliningrad region in October. “The Polish-Russian border is stable and calm, and there have been no illegal border crossings,” said Anna Michalska.

“We are not only on the ground in times of peace. We are prepared for various crises, and after the events on the Polish-Belarusian border, we are even better prepared for anything, for any scenario, no matter how bleak,” she added.

Kaliningrad, formerly East Prussian Königsberg, belongs to Russia and lies on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania. Polish President Andrzej Duda supports “all initiatives that lead to increased security in Poland and its citizens,” said a spokesman for the head of state.

There was a large wave of migration at the Polish border with Belarus in 2021. Warsaw accused the Belarusian government, which is allied with Russia, of promoting it in order to sow strife and chaos in the EU.

Image by Wikimedia (Kancelaria Sejmu)/ Attribution 2.0 Generic CC BY 2.0)

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