Poland to build canal through lagoon to the Baltic

Poland is to build a short canal so that ships leaving from one of its ports will no longer need to transit Russian waters.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice, said this week the 1 km long canal cutting through the Vistula lagoon in the northeast of the country to the Baltic Sea will show Poland’s neighbours, the Russians, that “the days they dictated to us are over”.

Currently ships leaving the lagoon from the port of Elblag must pass through Russian waters to get to the open sea.

Russia has already complained to the European Commission about the canal, saying its construction threatens the ecology of the lagoon.

Construction of the 5 m deep canal will start later this year and should be completed by 2022.

This century has been inundated with many canal projects, some realised such as the widening of the Panama and Suez canals, and some not, such as in Nicaragua, Iran and the long-held plans for the Kra Canal across the Thai isthmus.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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