PM says Poland not dependent on EU funds for border wall

Poland's Prime Minister said on Thursday that were the EU to decide to finance the wall on the Polish-Belarusian border the funds would be accepted, however, he added, Poland is not dependent on EU funding for the project.

Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference that Poland had already secured adequate funds for the construction of the barrier.

"We did it because we are under attack by the Lukashenko regime… We want to prevent this wave of migration from the Middle East, from Arab countries to Poland. We want to protect Poland and its security, so we decided to do it and we did not ask anyone for help," he said.

Morawiecki, commenting the appeal of 12 member states to finance the physical installation at the EU border with EU money, said that "If there is such a decision, then, of course, we will adopt these measures, because we believe that we are not only protecting Polish citizens, but also protecting EU citizens, because our eastern border is the eastern border of the EU."

Deputy interior minister Maciej Wąsik told the Senate (upper house) on Wednesday that Poland applied to the EU Integrated Border Management Fund for a sum of over EUR 200 million to gain co-financing of the barrier and for special equipment for border guards.

The government wants to build a wall on the border with Belarus due to migratory pressure. The estimated cost of constructing border barriers is PLN 1.6 billion (EUR 350 million).

The EU and its member states have accused the Belarusian government of deliberately pushing the migrants into Poland in a move to destabilise the EU. Since the beginning of the year, the Polish Border Guard has so far recorded over 20,000 attempts to illegally cross the Polish-Belarusian border.

Due to the crisis a state of emergency has been in place since September 2 in 183 localities of the Podlasie and Lubelskie provinces.