25 Oct, 2022 22:11
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EU country considers building wall on its border with Russia
A senior Polish official suspects Russia of engineering a migrant crisis on Poland’s border with Kaliningrad
Migrants at Poland-Belarus border, December, 2021 © Getty Images / Anadolu Agency / Contributor
Warsaw should consider building “fortifications” on its border with the Russian exclave Kaliningrad to prevent the potential flow of African and Asian migrants into Poland, Krzysztof Sobolewski, the general secretary of the ruling Law and Justice party, revealed on Tuesday.
In an interview with Polskie radio, he expressed concern over a possible repeat of the 2021 migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border. He cited a “hybrid war” allegedly unleashed by Minsk and Moscow as the reason for his concern, as well as the opening of Kaliningrad’s skies for flights “from Turkey, Syria and Belarus.”
“We will have to strengthen our forces on this section of the border and also consider building similar border fortifications to those we now have on the Polish-Belarusian section,” the official said.
Sobolewski revealed that he views last year’s crisis on the Belarusian border, as well as potential future crisis on the border with Kaliningrad, as part of a migrants-involving “hybrid war,” allegedly launched by Russia and Belarus. Poland must do everything it can to prevent Moscow and Minsk from succeeding, he said.
Finland may get a border wall
In a later comment for Reuters, Sobolewski predicted that migrants might start trying to cross from Kaliningrad into Poland in the very near future.
“After what we had to deal with, and are still dealing with on the Polish-Belarus border, and considering the opening of the skies above the Kaliningrad region for airplanes from Turkey, Syria and Belarus, it could be in the coming weeks,” Sobolewski said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, commenting on the idea of building a wall on the Polish side of the border, said that “Russia cannot and is not going to interfere with such decisions.”
“History every time proves the silliness of decisions to build walls, because over the years or decades, all walls fall,” he said.
The migrant crisis on the border between Belarus and Poland began in June last year, when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said his government would no longer help the EU stop illegal immigration since his country does not have the budget to do so due to the bloc’s own sanctions. Brussels and Polish authorities accused him of “weaponizing” migrants by flying them into his country and transporting them to the border, allegedly as part of a “hybrid war” against the West. Minsk has denied the accusations.
The crisis prompted Finland's parliament to approve new security measures along the country’s border with Russia. Earlier this month, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said she believed there was “wide support” among lawmakers for the construction of a border fence.