The Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland, Marek Grubarchik, expressed his opinion that protests against the construction of the canal through the Vistula (Baltic) Spit, which should connect the Baltic Sea to the Vistula Lagoon started because of Russia, reports Polish Radio.
According to the radio station, the European Commission initiated a meeting with Poland’s representatives, after it announced the start of the shipping canal construction work. The European Union raised questions about cutting down trees within the framework of these works, as well as the soundness of the project itself and its possible environmental risk.
Grubarchik stressed that the construction of the channel does not threaten nature, and the European Commission decided to intervene in the project only because of Russia. According to the minister, last year he asked the EC "not to succumb to the Russian narrative." According to the politician, Russian authorities want to block the construction through the Vistula Spit.
“The representative of Russia appealed to the European Commission, and it subsequently expressed caution based on Russian statements,” stated the Polish Radio.
Earlier, the Greenpeace Polska Foundation representative, Magdalena Figura, said that the canal’s construction through the Vistula Spit would cause serious harm to the environment. Due to this, representatives of the organization sent a complaint to the European Commission, Polish newspaper Do Rzeczy reports.
At the end of 2018, Poland announced a tender for the construction of a canal through the Baltic Spit, which separates the Kaliningrad Bay from the Gdansk Bay. The total length of the spit is 65 km, of which 35 belong to Russia. In the fall of 2018, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chairman of the leading Law and Justice party in Poland, and Grubarchik placed a pillar on the spit, which became a construction start symbol. As the Polish news outlet reported, the preparation works started a few days ago, and now they are cutting down trees.
The canal will allow Polish ships to bypass Russian waters when entering the Vistula (Kaliningrad) Bay port. The canal length will be 1.3 km, the maximum width - 120 m. Poland will cover the cost of works estimated at 880 million zlotych (more than 15.8 billion rubles).