Fence on Belarus border in progress

Marcin Onufryjuk/PAP

The construction of a stretch of barbed-wire fencing on the Polish-Belarusian border designed to keep a group of migrants out of Poland is almost complete, with just a 1.5-kilometre section now unfenced.

The fence, which is going up near the village of Usnarz Górny, will contain a group of 30 migrants who want to cross from Belarus into Poland. The group has been stranded on the border for the past three weeks after Polish border guards refused them entry.

Their plight has racked up tensions between Poland and Belarus with Warsaw accusing the Belarusian government of encouraging migrants to cross into Poland in an attempt to destabilise the country.

At the same time, the Polish government’s refusal to let them cross into the country has led to accusations that Warsaw is failing to comply with its international treaties that oblige it to offer refuge to those seeking asylum.

Poland has said it will build a fence along the entire length of its border with Belarus, a project that could last several weeks.