Poland is blocking the construction of a canal through Belarus.
The Polish Minister of Climate and Environment, under pressure from environmental organizations, revoked a previously issued permit for the construction of the Syazhevo Dam on the Vistula River.
As follows from the decision of the minister, the previously prepared environmental impact assessment (EIA) was carried out with numerous violations of the law and did not take into account all aspects, the newspaper “Belarusians and the market” notes.
This project was considered as a key one in the development of the Polish section of the E40 waterway (the route connects the Baltic and Black Seas through the territory of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine).
In Syazhevo, they were supposed to start the construction of a cascade of dams in order to ensure navigation of at least IV class of navy, and create new hydroelectric power plants. The plans were actively lobbied by the state agency Wody Polskie.
The Ministry of Transport of Belarus also considered E40 as a project that could revive the work of water transport, including making it possible to use ships of the "river-sea" type.
So far, the freight turnover of river workers is the smallest in comparison with other modes of transport in Belarus. In 2020, according to Belstat, the figure was only 29.9 million ton-kilometers, or 0.024% of the total cargo turnover in the country.
Against this background, Belarusian officials have repeatedly stated their desire to build their own sea-river fleet. The last time on September 12 was the Prime Minister of Belarus Raman Halouchanka.
But apparently now these plans will be put in the storehouse. However, without the cascading of the Vistula and the construction of the Vistula-Mukhavets canal, a full-fledged junction of the inland waterways of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine in the E40 frame is impossible.
Although earlier, Belarusian environmentalists and representatives of the business community called for abandoning the construction of the E40 waterway due to the high environmental and investment risks. According to the leading business unions, even if the E40 can be reconstructed according to the IV class of navy, water transport will continue to lose to the railway and road transport in terms of key logistics parameters: price, speed, seasonal stability of delivery.