Why Poland and Belarus are building border barriers

Written by by Staff Writer

Travel advice

Tensions are rising on the country’s eastern border with Belarus.

At the end of November, the neighboring countries erected heavy security fences along their 155-kilometer (96-mile) border, with stop-and-check stops by Belarusian border police.

Increased police patrols and roadblocks have also been reported.

According to Daniel Marchewsky, a researcher at the free-trade think tank Transit Rights, the situation is very different from the tensions over Russian soil that erupted between the former Warsaw Pact members after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“Even with the fear of increased border controls, Belarusia has always recognized the border — it didn’t cross during World War II, and if it did, it wasn’t more than a 20-kilometer stretch — so nobody did anything to the border,” he said.

According to Marchewsky, border controls are not something that would be seen as “racist” or “nationalistic.”

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