Border Guard signs deals on construction of barrier at Belarus border
Poland's Border Guard has signed three contracts as part of the process of constructing a fence on the country's border with Belarus, a deputy interior minister has announced.
Poland has been tackling increased migratory pressure at its border with Belarus, accusing Minsk's Alexander Lukashenko regime of deliberately engineering the situation in retaliation for sanctions imposed by Brussels.
"Today the Border Guard signed three big contracts for the construction of a barrier," Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik told the press.
He pointed out that in late-October a law on building security infrastructure on state borders came into force. "On the basis of that law, Commander Praga (Tomasz, commander of the Border Guard – PAP) appointed a commissioner for the construction of a barrier on the Polish-Belarusian border," Wąsik explained.
"We have started work," he continued. "We planned to finish the first tasks, which end with the signing of contracts at the end of last year. Those tasks have been extended by 10 days."
The deputy chief commander of the Border Guard, Wioleta Gorzkowska, described the barrier's construction as "absolutely necessary and urgent."
She said the fence was a "strategic investment not only from the point of view of carrying out the Border Guard's statutory duties, which include maintaining the inviolability of Polish borders... but also critical in light of undertakings to date."
"I don't hide the fact that it is a huge challenge for us, because it is the biggest construction investment in the history of the Border Guard, that's why I'm also very glad that… we have managed to work out the solutions and contract the construction of a physical barrier," she added.
The barrier will cover 186 km of the border and be divided into four stretches to be built in parallel in order to reduce construction time, Gorzkowska explained. The estimated cost of constructing the border barriers is PLN 1.6 billion (EUR 350 million).