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PM Tusk says Poland will create buffer zone at Belarusian border following attack on border guard

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 29, 2024 1:09 PM 2 min read
Polish border guards near the new fence on the Polish-Belarusian border near the village of Nowdziel on June 30, 2022, in Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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Poland plans to create a 200-meter-wide buffer zone along its state border with Belarus, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on May 29.

The announcement came after a Polish border guard was left in critical condition after being stabbed through the existing fence with a makeshift spear the previous day. The attack was reportedly carried out by a migrant who was attempting to illegally cross the border.

The attack was not the first violent incident at the border.

Tusk said that a decision on the buffer zone, which was previously implemented under the previous government in 2021, would be made at "the beginning of next week."

Following the full-scale invasion, Poland's relations with Russian ally Belarus have deteriorated. Warsaw has also long accused Belarus of deliberately pushing migrants into Poland in order to pressure the EU over sanctions, a charge Belarus has denied.

Tusk announced earlier in May that Poland plans to invest 10 billion zlotys ($2.55 billion) in strengthening its borders with Russia and Belarus to deter potential aggression.

The prime minister first mentioned his plans to fortify Poland's entire eastern border with Belarus due to a growing "hybrid war" and illegal migration on May 11.

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