Poland to build fence, double troop numbers on Belarus border

oland will build a fence along its border with Belarus and double the number of troops there, the defence minister said on Monday, to halt a flow of migrants the European Union says is being driven by Minsk in retaliation for EU sanctions, write Kacper Pempel, Alan Charlish, Alicja Ptak and Pawel Florkiewicz.

Poland and fellow EU states Lithuania and Latvia have reported sharp increases in migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan trying to cross their borders. The EU says Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is waging “hybrid warfare” with migrants to exert pressure on the bloc.

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said that a new 2.5-metre-(8.2-foot)-high solid fence would be built on the border with Belarus.

At a press conference at the border Blaszczak also said the military presence there would be increased.

“It is necessary to increase the number of soldiers. … We will soon double the number of soldiers to 2,000,” he said.

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