Polish border guards announcement On Tuesday, construction began on a border wall between Poland and Belarus intended to reduce unauthorized migration from Belarus. The wall is expected to be 186 km long and cost 1.6 billion Polish zlotys, or nearly $400 million.
A barrier between the two countries was authorized by the Polish parliament in 2021 in response to waves of migrants heading to Poland from Belarus. The Polish government, the EU and the US have condemned Belarus for the migration, calling it a hybrid attack on the EU that was authorized and funded by the Belarusian government in response to EU support for the protests Belarusian anti-governments in 2021.
As border migration slowed in 2022, thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, attempted to enter Poland in 2021 after flying to Minsk and being escorted to the border by Belarusian authorities. Most of the migrants were refused entry to Poland and were forced to wait indefinitely at the border in cold weather. Many have since returned to Belarus for repatriation to their home countries, although border tensions remain high.
Anna Michalska of the Polish Border Guard spoke to Polish media on Tuesday, saying the wall will be built to minimize environmental damage to the forested border and that the construction will keep deforestation to an absolute minimum. The country estimates that the wall will be finished in June 2022.