Moscow will protest against the construction of a strategic Polish PLN 880 million (EUR 200 million) canal that will bypass a Russian section of Baltic coastline, Poland's minister of maritime economy and inland navigation has said.
The canal is to allow deep-draught vessels from Poland’s Elbląg Seaport to enter the Baltic Sea without passing through Russian waters.
“We have found out that Russia will protest against the project for ecological reasons,” minister Marek Gróbarczyk said.
“The canal construction plan will be carried out in compliance with EU law … and above all with environmental norms,” he added.
Gróbarczyk said the geopolitical aspect of the project “is extremely important” to Poland.
“It is impermissible for an eastern border of the EU and a NATO border to be 100 percent under Russian control, for security to be threatened that way. This is the main argument we will put to the EU and which will be met with full understanding.”
Construction plans for the five-metre-deep, 1.3 km-long canal were approved by the Polish government in May.
The construction plans, mooted by previous governments, have drawn criticism from environmentalists, who argue that the undertaking would disrupt the migration routes of various animal species. (vb/pk)