Polish prime minister warns of “further provocations” around border with Belarus and Russia

Polish prime minister warns of “further provocations” around border with Belarus and Russia

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned Thursday of “further provocations and intrigues” that may arise from the other side of his country’s eastern border with Belarus and Russia, amid growing tensions between Warsaw and Minsk.

“We warn against provocations from Russia and Belarus. The Wagner group may carry out sabotage actions, and all those who underestimate this threat may be responsible for further provocations and intrigues from that side,” Morawiecki said in post on Twitter.

On July 29, Morawiecki said more than 100 Wagner mercenaries have moved towards a thin strip of land between Poland and Lithuania, known as the Suwalki gap or corridor, and that this was “a step towards a further hybrid attack on Polish territory”. Morawiecki also said Wagner mercenaries may try to pose as migrants in order to cross from Belarus into Poland.

On Thursday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko denied Poland’s claims that about 100 of the fighters have moved closer to the Polish border and said Poland should “thank him” for “inviting these fighters to our place,” because “otherwise, without us, they would have infiltrated there.”

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Belarus and Poland both summoned their respective ambassadors on Tuesday, after Poland alleged two Belarusian helicopters have violated its airspace. Poland announced it will increase the number of soldiers along its border with Belarus because of the alleged violation.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blasczak also warned of further provocations from Belarus and said the recent “hybrid attacks” are “coordinated in the Kremlin.” He claimed that the goal of these attacks is to destabilize Poland, and the country is increasing its forces on the border with Belarus to prevent that destabilization.

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