Poland Implements Border Walls and Sanctions to Manage Migration Crisis.

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Poland Erects Walls and Fences to Control Migration and Imposes Border Sanctions

In response to the ongoing migration crisis, Poland has initiated the construction of walls and fences along its border with Belarus. The primary objective is to prevent uncontrolled migration, leading to the closure or severe restriction of border crossings. Electronic barriers have also been installed to combat illegal migration attempts. These measures come alongside sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus, further limiting cross-border movements.

Border Crossings Restricted as a Result of Sanctions

Poland has restricted border crossings along its frontier with Belarus and Russia. Only one operating border crossing remains for passenger traffic in Terespol, while the border crossing in Kukuryki has introduced strict limitations. Additionally, tourist traffic has been completely halted at these crossings. The introduction of these restrictions and the implementation of walls and fences are responses to the involvement of Belarusian services in organizing illegal border crossings since August 2021.

Sanctions Driven by Political and Military Tensions

The situation at the Polish-Belarusian border goes beyond the migration crisis and encompasses political and military tensions. Belarusians living in Poland view the sanctions as a necessary measure due to the imprisonment of individuals for their political views and the lack of independence within the courts. Jan Abadouski, a Belarusian political activist in exile, emphasizes concerns over the presence of nuclear weapons in Belarus, highlighting the threat it poses to Europe’s safety.

Impact of Sanctions on Polish Tourism and Trade

While the sanctions target Russia and Belarus, they have had adverse effects on Polish tourism, international transport, and trade. Polish entrepreneurs, facing significant losses resulting from the closure of cross-border traffic, have come together to fight for their survival. The Alliance of the Polish Entrepreneurs ‘United East’ has formed to advocate for financial support from the state treasury to aid affected companies. The closure of two border crossings has led to the closure of multiple offices and job losses, but some entrepreneurs have managed to secure compensation for their businesses.

Financial Aid Offers Hope for Survival and Adaptation

Ewelina Grygatowicz-Szumowska, the founder of the Alliance of the Polish Entrepreneurs ‘United East’ and a customs agency owner, highlights the impact on her business and employees. However, financial aid has been secured for the next 12 months, preventing immediate layoffs and providing a cash injection to ensure survival. Entrepreneurs like Grygatowicz-Szumowska express the need to adapt to the changing circumstances and explore alternative sectors of operation. The situation remains challenging, but financial support offers a glimmer of hope for businesses affected by the sanctions and border restrictions.

SOURCE: Ref –  Magdalena Chodownik 

Images: Aljazeera

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