Poland Picks Contractors for Building Fences at Belarus Border
11:43 GMT 20.12.2021 (Updated: 11:48 GMT 20.12.2021)
WARSAW (Sputnik) - Poland has selected two companies that would build solid fences on the border with Belarus in the country's latest step to prevent illegal immigration from its neighbour's territory, Polish Deputy Minister of Interior and Administration Maciej Wasik said on Monday.
"At the moment, the decision has already been taken regarding the procedures for selecting contractors. The fences on the Polish-Belarusian border will be constructed by two firms — Budimex and Unibep — two large Polish construction companies", Wasik told Polish Radio.
The construction will begin either late this year or early next year, and is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2022, he said.
The construction of solid barriers to replace existing barbed fences was initiated in October by the Polish parliament to halt illegal migration from the Belarusian territory.
In early November, Polish Minister of Interior and Administration Mariusz Kaminski unveiled the details of the construction, saying that three round-the-clock shifts will work to build the new 180-kilometre (111.8 miles) long and 5.5-meter (18 feet) high fence. It will be equipped with motion sensors and cameras.
Migrants have been gathering at Belarus' borders with its EU neighbours
— Poland, Latvia and Lithuania — since summer. The three EU countries reinforced border security and used crowd control equipment to thwart illegal crossing attempts. Some of the migrants, mainly from the Middle East, were flown back home.
The European Union has accused Belarus of manufacturing the crisis in retaliation for sanctions. The Belarusian government has rejected the accusation, saying that sanctions simply left the country without the resources to curb illegal migration through its territory any longer.