Poland starts building wall on border with Belarus

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Poland has started building a high wall on its eastern border intended to block migrants pushed by Belarus in what the European Union calls a “hybrid attack” from crossing illegally into EU territory

KUZNICA, Poland — Poland has started building a $394 million high wall on its eastern border intended to block migrants pushed by Belarus in what the European Union calls a “hybrid attack” from crossing illegally into EU territory.

Reporters were allowed to see the work in the guarded area on Thursday.

Pressure from thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa on Poland’s and Lithuania’s wooded border with Belarus began in the summer, leading to clashes with Poland’s border guards. Poland has sealed its border with Belarus using razor wire and increased the number of guards.

Poland’s 5.5 meter (18 ft) high metal wall is to run more than 180 kilometers (115 miles) along the land part of the border with Belarus, which also includes the Bug River as a frontier. It is to be completed in June, at the cost of some 1.6 billion zlotys ($394 million.)

Critics and environmentalists say it will fail to stop migrants, but will do harm to one of Europe’s last pristine woodlands, the Bialowieza forest.

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