Polish President Andrzej Duda opened a new channel across the Baltic Sea’s Vistula sandbar on Saturday. Vessels sailing in this way avoid Russian-controlled straits.

Not yet completed, the new canal will allow ships to pass from the Baltic Sea to Elblung and other ports on Vistula without requiring Russian permits. The eastern part of the 60-kilometer-long Spit belongs to the territory of the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Thanks to a 1.3-kilometre-long canal built on the sandbar, ships will shorten her 100-kilometre route.

According to the daily Rzeczpospolita on Saturday, Duda stressed that it was not about the largest vessel to pass through the new waterway. According to him, there are other ports in Poland. He called it a symbol and the realization of an investment a big win.

“The aim was to open this waterway so that we would not have to seek permission from countries that were unfriendly and whose authorities did not hesitate to invade and conquer other countries,” Duda told the Associated Press.

The canal allows the passage of ships up to 100 meters long, 20 meters wide and with a draft of 5 meters. Small boats and yachts use it from Sunday. The canal he built at a cost of 2 billion zlotys (over 10 billion crowns). Cargo ships will only be able to use it after deepening access to Elblong’s port, which costs 100 million zlotys (519 million crowns). However, the investment causes controversy between the government and local authorities.

The canal’s official opening on Saturday was timed to mark the 83rd anniversary of the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland during World War II. It is intended to symbolically mark the end of Moscow’s ability to influence the region’s economy and development. said to be given to

Prime Minister Duda, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party Jaroslaw Kaczynski will sail the newly constructed waterway today, according to the Associated Press.

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