Poland's President: Duda opens new shipping canal on the Baltic Sea coast


Poland's President
Duda opens a new shipping canal on the Baltic Sea coast

A canal is being built between the Baltic Sea and the Vistula Lagoon.  This is intended to shorten, deepen and simplify the sea route to the Baltic Sea

A canal is being built between the Baltic Sea and the Vistula Lagoon. This is intended to shorten, deepen and simplify the sea route to the Baltic Sea. photo

© Adam Warzawa/pap/dpa

Poland now has its own access from the Vistula Lagoon to the Baltic Sea. Previously, ships had to navigate through Russian territorial waters.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has officially inaugurated a new shipping canal that will Baltic Sea connected to the Vistula Lagoon. This was "a great victory for Poland, a great victory for all patriots, a great victory for everyone who understands the word sovereignty," said the 50-year-old, according to the PAP agency on Saturday. So far, ships from the Baltic Sea could only reach the Vistula Lagoon via Russian territory.

With the canal, Poland wants to ensure free access to the sea for the port of Elblag (Elbing). In a further construction phase, a fairway must be created through the Vistula Lagoon and the river Elblag must be dredged up to the port of the city of the same name. The cost of the entire construction is estimated at almost half a billion euros.

So far have to Ships, which want to reach the Baltic Sea from Elblag, pass through Russian territorial waters, since the northern part of the Vistula Lagoon belongs to the Kaliningrad region. Poland's national conservative PiS government wants to make shipping in the region independent of Russian permits.

The government in Warsaw chose a highly symbolic date for the inauguration: On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Red Army began to invade eastern Poland during World War II, after German troops had previously invaded the country on September 1.

dpa



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