WARSAW, Poland (AP). On Friday, Polish lawmakers approved the early construction of a $ 402 million fence on the EU member’s border with Belarus, in an effort to stem the increasing flow of migrants.
Now the plan proposed by the right-wing government requires only the approval of President Andrzej Duda, an ally of the government. The construction of the wall with motion sensors will begin after approval.
Poland and other EU countries accuse the Belarusian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging and helping migrants from the Middle East and Africa to seek entry into the EU across their borders with Belarus. It says the government in Minsk is trying to destabilize the entire bloc in response to Western sanctions.
Some migrants, mostly from Iraq and Syria, died of starvation near Poland’s border with Belarus, which runs more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) through forests, swamps and along the Bug River.
Poland built a barbed wire fence at the border and sent thousands of border guards, soldiers and police officers, but these measures failed to stop the influx of migrants. Border guards are also pushing migrants across the border, including some families with children, and a new Polish law makes this legal.
Poland is also in talks with the European Union border agency Frontex about plans to bring migrants back to their home countries.
Migrants entering any EU country can apply for international protection or asylum, which will apply to the entire EU territory, but in most cases the requests are denied.