Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced that he had ordered the construction of a barrier along the border with the Russian Kaliningrad region to ‘strengthen security’, during a briefing in Warsaw on Wednesday.
“In view of the disturbing news that the airport in the Kaliningrad region has been opened to flights from the Middle East and North Africa, I have decided to take measures that will strengthen Poland’s security on the border with the Kaliningrad region by strengthening this border,” Blaszczak said.
The minister noted that “the work of sappers and soldiers of the Polish Army on the construction of a temporary barrier on the border with the Kaliningrad region is starting”.
“The barrier will consist of three rows of razor wire, Blaszczak added. “It is a barrier two and a half meters high and three meters wide. There will also be a fence on the Polish side to protect the animals,” he continued.
It comes amid concerns in the Polish administration that the border might become a target for illegal migration, particularly with a new airport opening in Kaliningrad. The government has referenced the events of last summer when thousands of Africans and Middle Eastern migrants tried to cross from Belarus.
Last month, Alexander Korytnyi, head of Khrabrovo airport in Kaliningrad, told the Russian news agency Interfax that his facility would seek to “attract airlines from the Persian Gulf and Asia”, including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said the construction of the razor wire fence was “the Poles’ affair”.