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Polish Lawmakers Approve Belarus Border Wall Amid Migrant Crossing Surge


Since the beginning of the year, more than 23,000 migrants have tried to cross the Polish-Belarusian border. (file photo)

Polish lawmakers have approved the building of a $407 million wall on its eastern border with Belarus in a further move aimed at stemming the flow of illegal migrants, mostly from the Middle East and Africa.

Polish President Andrzej Duda vowed to sign the legislation passed in parliament on October 29, allowing for the construction of a wall along 100 kilometers of the border.

The EU accuses Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka of flying in migrants and funneling them to the bloc's borders to retaliate against Brussels for sanctions imposed over a crackdown on the opposition, civil society, and independent media since a 2020 presidential election that is widely considered to have been rigged.

Earlier this week, Poland announced plans to increase the number of soldiers and guards at its border with Belarus. Germany also said it had deployed hundreds of extra police to the Polish frontier to help deal with the recent influx of migrants, most coming via Belarus.

Warsaw has already declared a state of emergency and put up a razor wire fence.

Since the beginning of the year, more than 23,000 migrants have tried to cross the Polish-Belarusian border.

Lithuania and Latvia have also witnessed a surge in illegal migrants in recent months.

With reporting by AFP
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