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Vistula Spit Canal inauguration: more security and independence from Russia

The Vistula Spit Canal, a major water infrastructure project designed to further reinforce Poland’s independence from Russia by opening a second maritime avenue to the Vistula Lagoon and the port of Elbląg, will see its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, September 17 – a date of huge significance for Polish history.

September 17th 1939: Soviets invade Poland

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The Vistula Spit canal renders Vistula Lagoon navigation independent from Russia, the head of Polish President Andrzej Duda’s Office, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

“It is an important investment, first and foremost, in the context of Poland’s security, its proximity to the Kaliningrad region – a crucial element in the Russian Federation’s military infrastructure that has proven hostile towards its neighbours and waged a bloody war in Ukraine,” Mr Szrot said ahead of the main ceremony.

The aide went on to highlight the economic pros entailed by the project, namely the development of the port of Elbląg and the entire region. “Mr President [Andrzej Duda] has always said that Poland should opt for this kind of bold and large investment.”

Throwing sand in the Russia’s gears

Bolstering Poland’s security and reinforcing the independence of its maritime navigation and trade from Russia, the canal is opened on the 83rd anniversary of Soviet Russia’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

It also sends out a message to the Kremlin that its political predecessors’ endeavours to obliterate Poland failed in the end. Today, the country stands tall, carrying out its independent policies and playing a major role in Europe.

What to expect during the inauguration ceremony?

Speaking about the nearing ceremony, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Marek Gróbarczyk said that “the first part will consist of speeches, the second one is the inaugural sluicing, including commissioning.”

“Today, three vessels will navigate through the watergate [of the canal], namely a Maritime Office vessel Zodiak II and two vessels under the flags of the Border Guard and the Marine Search and Rescue Service (SAR),” he went on to add.

The official stressed that Polish state maritime vessels had no possibility of entering the Vistula Lagoon before the canal’s completion because “they had to ask Moscow for permission.”

“On this day, this [limitation] becomes history,” he said.

The official also told RMF FM radio that the Saturday ceremony would relate to September 17, 1939.

The official went on to say that the canal would be made available to the public as of Sunday. “Night sluicing won’t be available just yet,” he noted, adding that “we will be sluicing until 6 pm only due to limitations related to the marking of the shipping lanes.”

The full length of the waterway from the Gdańsk Bay through the Vistula Lagoon reaching Elbląg amounts to 23 km. The length of the canal itself amounts to over 10 km. The depth of the canal and the entirety of the water shipping lane will amount to five meters.

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