Highlights

  • Poland lays wires along border with Russia's Kaliningrad
  • Poland constructing a barrier to prevent another migration crisis
  • Poland's border with Belarus became the site of a major migration crisis last year

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Poland putting up razor wires along the border with Russia's Kaliningrad. Here's why

Russian territory of Kaliningrad, with a population of about 1 million, is the northern part of what used to be the German territory of East Prussia and became part of the Soviet Union after World War II.

Polish soldiers began laying razor wire Wednesday along Poland's border with the exclave of Kaliningrad, after the government ordered the construction of a barrier to prevent what it fears could become another migration crisis.

Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said a recent decision by Russia's aviation authority to launch flights from the Middle East and North Africa to Kaliningrad led him to take the step, which he said would strengthen Poland's security.

Blaszczak said the barrier along the 210-kilometre (130-miles) border would be made of three rows of razor wire that will be 2.5 metres (eight feet) high and three metres (10 feet) wide and with an electronic monitoring system and cameras.

Soldiers began laying the razor wire in the Polish village of Wisztyniec, a local Border Guard spokeswoman, Miroslawa Aleksandrowicz, told Polish state news agency PAP.

Wisztyniec is a village where the borders of Poland, Russia and Lithuania meet.

Lithuania, like Poland, is a member of both NATO and the European Union.

There were no detected attempts to cross into Poland illegally from Kaliningrad in October, Aleksandrowicz said.

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To date, there has been no barrier along the border, but only frequent patrols by border guards, another Border Guard spokesperson, Konrad Szwed said.

The exclave of Kaliningrad, with a population of about 1 million, is the northern part of what used to be the German territory of East Prussia and became part of the Soviet Union after World War II.

Poland's border with Belarus became the site of a major migration crisis last year, with large numbers of people crossing illegally.

Poland erected a steel wall on the border with Belarus that was completed in June.

Polish and other EU leaders accused the Belarusian government - which is allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin - of masterminding the migration in order to create chaos and division within the 27-nation bloc.

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