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Poland should wait for EC decision on strategic canal: EU source

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 02.03.2019 11:00
An EU source cited by a Polish news agency has said Warsaw should halt work on the Vistula Spit canal until the European Commission reaches a decision over environmental issues concerning the project.
The Vistula Lagoon. Photo: NASA/commons.wikimedia.orgThe Vistula Lagoon. Photo: NASA/commons.wikimedia.org

A technical meeting on the planned canal attended by experts from Poland and the European Commission was held in Brussels on Friday.

The source, who was not named by the agency, added that the EU’s executive did not confirm the necessity of constructing the waterway, according to IAR.

Earlier on Friday, the press office of Poland’s maritime ministry made an announcement that Brussels agreed that the project was necessary, the agency reported.

During the meeting, EU experts received clarifications justifying the investment, according to the source. The expert added that they reminded their Polish counterparts of an authorisation procedure binding undertakings such as the Vistula Spit canal. The source also said that in line with the process the project requires a formal decision given by the commission.

The Polish side, meanwhile, believes that it does not need to have the construction of the canal authorised because it has no impact on the environment, IAR said.

Five metres deep, the 1.3 km canal between the Vistula Lagoon and Gdańsk Bay in the Baltic Sea is expected to be built by digging through the Vistula Spit, which separates the bay from the lagoon on Polish territory.

The aim is to allow deep-draught vessels to enter Poland’s Elbląg seaport without passing through the Strait of Baltiysk in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave.

According to estimates last year, the Polish canal project is expected to cost PLN 880 million (some EUR 210 million, USD 245 million) and be completed by 2022.


Source: IAR

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