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Prime Minister Donald Tusk has announced the construction of an entire security and military infrastructure system on Poland’s eastern border.

The “Shield East” system will consist of various defence structures, detection and early warning systems, as well as improvement of the military logistics. An additional element will be the use and expansion of dense forests and swamps designed to hinder the infiltration of Polish territory. According to the Warsaw Enterprise Institute the system will cover 700km of Poland’s eastern and northern borders (the border with Russia) and will cost up to 10 billion zlotys (over $2.5Bn).

The system, on the one hand, is intended to increase the mobility of troops defending Polish territory and, on the other hand, to delay the movements of a possible aggressor through the construction of concrete fortifications or anti-tank ditches. The system under construction will be part of similar defense systems currently being built by the Baltic countries in the face of aggressive Russian policy, as well as the migration threat created by Russia and Belarus. The fortification system under construction will be closely coordinated with the work carried out on the Belarusian border due to the pressure of illegal migrants that has been ongoing for the past three years. The Minister of Defense indicated that the system would be Poland’s largest defense investment after 1945, and in view of the real threat posed by Russia’s aggressive policies, he is counting on the support of all political forces, as well as local communities.

It should be remembered that since the middle of 2021, there has been pressure of illegal migrants on the Polish eastern border, provoked by the Belarusian authorities, who, it has been confirmed, are attracting migrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, among others. Prime Minister Morawiecki’s government has begun construction of a wall on the border to act as a barrier to both illegal emigrants and infiltration by Belarusian and Russian secret services. The steel and concrete construction wall was built on the land section of the 186km long Polish-Belarusian border. It was supplemented with a system of cameras and seismic sensors to help intercept illegal crossing of the state border. The construction of the wall and all its logistics cost 1.5 billion zlotys and had no military value. Now the planned infrastructure will have an eminently military character, which, by the way, may also reduce the flow of illegal immigrants.

An analyst from the Warsaw Enterprise Institute pointed out that the planned amount of 10 billion zlotys for the construction of the entire military infrastructure on Poland’s eastern border may be greatly underestimated. According to preliminary declarations, the government would like part of the cost of building the system to be covered by EU or NATO funds. The construction of such a system, connected with similar systems in the Baltic countries, will serve the security of the whole of Europe against Russian aggression. The only question is whether it will be possible to convince other European countries to allocate sufficient funds for military infrastructure, in a situation of constant support for the Ukrainian military effort.

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Post written by: Vicky Maggiani

Vicky has worked in media for over 20 years and has a wealth of experience in editing and creating copy for a variety of sectors.

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