Poland installed surveillance equipment on the border wall with Belarus in the face of the wave of illegal immigrants

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These are high-tech cameras and motion sensors designed to prevent thousands of immigrants from crossing into the European Union member country

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Poland installed surveillance equipment on the border wall with Belarus in the face of the wave of illegal immigrants

The electronic monitoring system is seen on the border wall in Nomiki , Poland, Friday, November 2022 (AP Photo/Maciek Luczniewski)

Polish officials on Friday inspected the initial phase of installation of high-tech monitoring equipment at along a metal wall on the border with Belarus intended to prevent thousands of migrants from crossing into the European Union member country.

Poland's Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said the 17-foot (5.5-meter) high wall has reduced crossing attempts tenfold. The Polish Border Guard said the daily number of migrant crossings has dropped to a few dozen compared to the thousands in 2021 and earlier this year.

The construction of the wall was intended to prevent what Polish authorities say are the efforts of the authoritarian president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to push thousands of migrants into Poland and, by extension, destabilize the EU. .

Crossings through difficult terrain and cold temperatures have resulted in the deaths of at least 27 migrants and Polish authorities have had to go frequently to the rescue of groups stranded in remote swamps.

Poland installed surveillance equipment on the border wall with Belarus in the face of the wave of illegal immigrants

Poland's Minister of Interior and Administration Mariusz Kaminski, center , visits the border wall in Nomiki, Poland, on Friday, November 2022 (AP Photo/Maciek Luczniewski)

Kaminski said that together with a barrier being built on the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, Poland will have “the most secure border in the European Union”.

So far, cameras and motion sensors have been installed along a 21-kilometre stretch of the wall. Installation of monitoring equipment along the 206-kilometer (128-mile) length of the wall is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The wall will help “prevent illegal migration that is politically motivated and aims to destabilize the situation in the region,” Kaminski said.

Referring to violent incidents at the border a while ago, Kaminski said that “the situation is much, much better” now.

The minister said a Polish company will start this year to install high-tech monitoring equipment along the 210-kilometre land border with Kaliningrad, where a barbed wire barrier is being erected. Poland says it sees signs Russia wants to funnel migrants into the country through the enclave.

Poland installed surveillance equipment at the border wall with Belarus in the face of the wave of illegal immigrants

Polish border guard stands by the border wall in Nomiki, Poland, Friday, November 2022. (AP Photo/Maciek Luczniewski)

Poland has been opposing the growing number of refugees and migrants trying to enter the country from Belarus. The border between Poland and Belarus is also part of the eastern border of the European Union, and the EU accuses the regime in Belarus of encouraging illegal migration to create instability in the West.

The political standoff took on further scope this week when a large group of asylum seekers, most of them from the Middle East, arrived at the border.

Some attempted to force their way in, and hundreds, possibly thousands, remain in makeshift camps in sub-zero temperatures, compounding humanitarian concerns.

(With information from AP)

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