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Poland to build razor-wire fence on border with Russia's Kaliningrad

Construction of the temporary 2.5m high and 3m deep barrier will start immediately, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak says.

Reuters
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Border fence with Russia is seen at the Suwalki Gap area at the triple border near Bolcie, Poland Oct 17. Photo: Reuters
Border fence with Russia is seen at the Suwalki Gap area at the triple border near Bolcie, Poland Oct 17. Photo: Reuters

Poland will build a razor-wire fence on its border with Russia's Kaliningrad, its defence minister said on Wednesday, amid concerns that the enclave might become a conduit for illegal migration.

Construction of the temporary 2.5m high and 3m deep barrier will start immediately, Mariusz Blaszczak told a news conference.

With tensions rising due to the war in Ukraine, he cited security concerns and referred to a crisis triggered last autumn when thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants tried to cross the Belarus border into Poland, some of whom died.

However, a spokesman for Poland's Border Guard said no illegal entries from Kaliningrad into Poland took place in October.

"The Polish-Russian border is stable and calm. There has been no illegal crossing of the border," Anna Michalska said.

"We are not only there in times of peace. We are prepared for various crisis situations and after what happened on the Polish-Belarusian border we are even more prepared for everything, for all of the darkest scenarios," she added.

The European Union at the time accused Belarus - a close ally of Russia - of flying the migrants in as part of a "hybrid" warfare campaign to destabilise Europe. Minsk denied wrongdoing.

Blaszczak said the Kaliningrad barrier would be similar to the one that Poland set up along the border with Belarus last year.

Online business magazine Russia Briefing reported last month that Kaliningrad is seeking to attract airlines from the Gulf and Asia under a new open skies policy.

The enclave, where Russia has a significant military presence, lies on the Baltic coast between Poland and Lithuania and is separated from Belarus by a border corridor.

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