WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Polish lawmakers on Friday approved the swift construction of a $ 402 million barrier on the border of the EU member states with Belarus to stop the increasing flow of migrants.
Now the plan proposed by the right-wing government only needs the approval of President Andrzej Duda, who is allied with the government. With the approval, the construction of the wall with motion detectors should begin.
Poland and other EU states have accused the Belarusian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging and supporting migrants from the Middle East and Africa to enter the EU across their borders with Belarus. It is said that the government in Minsk is trying to destabilize the entire bloc in retaliation for Western sanctions.
Some migrants, mainly from Iraq and Syria, have died of exhaustion on Poland’s Belarusian border, which stretches for 400 kilometers through forests, bogs and along the Bug River.
Poland has built a barbed wire fence on the border and dispatched thousands of border guards, troops and police officers, but the measures have not stopped the influx of migrants. Border guards have also pushed migrants back across the border, including some families with children, and a new Polish law makes this legal.
Poland is also in talks with the European Union’s border agency Frontex about plans to fly the migrants back to their home countries.
Migrants entering any EU country can ask for international protection or asylum for the whole of the EU, but in most cases the applications will be denied.