Polish gov't wants to build a wall on border with Belarus

Kamiński said that the fence was necessary because "the number of attempts by illegal migrants to cross the border has not been going down despite the fact that there are more border guards, soldiers and policemen on the border." Radek Pietruszka/PAP

The Polish government has approved a draft law on the construction of a high barrier on the border with Belarus in order to protect Poland’s and the EU's external frontier, the interior minister announced on Tuesday.

Last week, Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Law and Justice, the dominant party in Poland’s coalition government, said that a solid barrier should replace the temporary protective measures now in place.

"The draft, which will now be sent to the Sejm (the lower house), provides for building a high, solid barrier with a monitoring system and motion sensors," Mariusz Kamiński wrote on Twitter.

"The actions taken by the Alexander Lukashenko regime demanded a firm response from the Polish government," Kamiński told PAP, adding that this kind of barrier had worked in other countries, and "will pass the test in Poland."

Kamiński said that the fence was necessary because "the number of attempts by illegal migrants to cross the border has not been going down despite the fact that there are more border guards, soldiers and policemen on the border."

The minister added that the law will come into effect a day after it has been published in the Journal of Law due to the threat to the Polish border.

Poland has been struggling to stem the flow of Middle Eastern and African migrants crossing into Poland from Belarus. The government says they have been invited to Belarus by Alexander Lukashenko, the country's president, allegedly under the promise they will be able to live in the EU.

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused the Belarusian government of pushing migrants across the border in an effort to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels has imposed on Minsk.

Areas in Poland close to the border with Belarus have been under a state of emergency since September 2. The press is barred from visiting the area covered by the state of emergency.