In order to reinforce its eastern border with Belarus, authorities in Poland have decided to send an additional 2,000 troops.
The new measures have been confirmed by a deputy interior minister, Maciej Wasik, while stressing that they came following the record number of migrants attempting to cross the borders in order to reach Poland.
“This will not be a reinforcement of 1,000 but of 2,000 soldiers,” Wasik told the PAP state news agency. He stressed that the move was approved by the Defence Minister upon a request from the national border agency for extra manpower.
The troops will be deployed within two weeks and will join the 2,000 soldiers that are already present near the border with its neighbouring country, Belarus.
Border Guard, Defense Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, said that Poland is planning to move up a total of 10,000 additional troops to the border with Belarus, according to a Radio Free Europe report.
“About 10,000 soldiers will be on the border, of which 4,000 will directly support the Border Guard, and 6,000 will be in reserve,” the minister noted.
Blaszczak said that they are moving the army closer to the border with Belarus to scare away the aggressor so that it does not dare to attack Poland.
Last month, Poland’s Interior Minister said that Poland and Latvia and Lithuania could jointly decide to close their common borders with Belarus if there are serious incidents involving the Wagner group along their borders with the country.
On July 19, authorities in Poland decided to move military units to its east following Wagner mercenaries attempting to train Belarusian special forces a few miles from its borders.
Soon after, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin threw accusations towards Poland for having territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union, emphasising that any aggression against Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia.
“Undoubtedly, should there be serious incidents involving the Wagner group on the borders of NATO and EU countries, such as Poland, Lithuania or Latvia, we will undoubtedly take action together,” Minister Kaminski noted.
Authorities in Poland started to tighten their security at their border with Belarus, sending a total of 500 police forces and 5,000 border guards, and 2,000 soldiers to its easter border earlier this year.
Local media reports said that Lithuania’s Transport Ministry is planning to temporarily close two of the country’s six border checkpoints with Belarus by August 15.