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Polish official: Poland considers 'any steps' necessary to protect territory

by The Kyiv Independent news desk August 5, 2023 2:53 PM 2 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

Poland may need to close its border with Belarus as "the threat is very real," Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski told CNN on Aug. 5.

“We are considering any steps that will be necessary to protect our territory, protect our citizens, including the full isolation of Belarus, including full closure of the border,” Jablonski said.

Jablonski argued Wagner mercenaries could attempt to cross the border, adding Poland was already deploying troops and "would not back down."

"We are stating very clearly that we will not back down. Obviously there will be attempts. We are expecting more attempts on attacks on our border, perhaps more attempts on also violating our airspace," Jablonski said.

"They will be trying to demonstrate they can do whatever they want."

Tensions between the neighboring countries rose after the Polish Defense Ministry confirmed that Belarusian helicopters had crossed into Polish territory on Aug. 1.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also claimed on July 29 that 100 Wagner mercenaries had been transferred close to Belarus' western border, near the Suwalki Corridor, a 65-kilometer strip of land between Belarus and Russia's exclave Kaliningrad Oblast.

Belarusian dictator Lukashenko denied the accusations on Aug. 1, saying, "No Wagner detachments of 100 people moved there. And if they did, it was only to train the brigades, which are concentrated in Brest and Hrodna."

Lukashenko went on to claim to have no interest in the Suwalki gap, but a week before, during a meeting with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin on July 23, Lukashenko was "making jokes" about Wagner Group mercenaries eyeing Poland.

Belarus Weekly: Helicopters violate Polish airspace; Wagner moves closer to border
Tensions rise after Belarusian helicopters cross into Polish territory, the country’s state border service said on Aug. 1. Poland also alleges that around 100 Wagner mercenaries are transferred closer to the Suwalki Corridor, bringing tensions to a new high. Subscribe to the NewsletterBelarus…
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