Poland opens new sea lanes to end dependence on Russia

WARSAW, POLAND (AP) — Poland’s top leader celebrated Saturday’s opening — albeit unfinished — that ships would no longer need to secure Russian permission to sail from the Baltic to ports on the Vistula lagoon. They say

The event marks the 83rd anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland during World War II and symbolically marks the end of Moscow’s say in the economy and development of the region bordering Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave. was held. The government says the waterway will give Poland full sovereignty over the northeastern region, which is in need of investment and economic development.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said: “The idea was to open the waterway to countries that were unfriendly and whose authorities would not hesitate to attack and conquer other countries, without having to ask for permission.”

He said the investment will pay off through the development of lagoon cities and ports through increased land values ​​around them, thanks to increased trade, business and tourism.

Thousands gathered in the rain with white and red flags to watch the technology ship Zodiac II pass through the locks to open the canal. The national anthem was played and the ship honked its horn.

Small boats and yachts are expected to be allowed into the port on Sunday.

The leader of Poland’s right-wing ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said this was “the beginning of Poland’s fourth largest port (Elblag) and a new impulse to develop this land”, which would reduce Poland’s highest unemployment rate. I told the audience that The level is now 7.6%.

Kaczynski emphasized what the construction of the canal shows. “

Built at a cost of nearly 2 billion zlotys ($420 million), the canal crosses the Vistula sandbar east of Gdansk, allowing ships to sail from the Baltic Sea and Gdansk Bay to the small ports of Elblag and Lagoon. make it possible. Obtain permission to transit the Pilawa Strait of Russia. It will also shorten the route from the Baltic Sea to Elblag by about 100 kilometers (54 nautical miles).

However, cargo ships cannot use this passage until the approaches to Elblag Harbor are deepened to 5 meters (16 feet). The work is expected to cost him 100 million zlotys ($21 million), a source of controversy between central and city officials.