Poland and Lithuania will continue to defend their borders amid growing provocation in neighboring Belarus due to the presence of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, its leaders vowed following a meeting on Thursday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki discussed a wide range of issues with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda at the Suwałki Gap, including the future of NATO, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and the foreboding situation arising in Belarus.
“Today, the borders of Poland and the border of Lithuania are the borders of the free world resisting the onslaught from the despotism in the east,” said Mateusz Morawiecki at a joint conference.
“Various hybrid attacks that we have observed for two years are stopped at our borders: Lithuanian borders, Polish borders,” he emphasized.
The Polish prime minister said that “Russia and Belarus are increasing the pressure on the border, increasing the number of their provocations, and we must be aware that the number of these provocations will increase.” According to Morawiecki, the actions on the side of Russia and Belarus involve destabilization and chaos “which is to show the weakness of the eastern flank of NATO to all our partners in NATO.”
“That’s why we are strengthening the border, that’s why we are not underestimating any threats, that’s why we are doing everything to strengthen and modernize the Polish army, but also to strengthen our alliances,” he added.
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nauseda said that border protection was strengthened when the Wagner Group started deploying its units in Belarus.
“We see that the military group in Belarus can be a big temptation for Lukashenko and Putin to use them for provocations against NATO countries,” said Nauseda.
He added that this is why cooperation with allies is needed. “We need to cooperate and talk about plans and algorithms that will be used if the situation becomes more complicated,” he explained.
“We are considering closing the border with Belarus, but it would have to be coordinated with Poland and Latvia,” the Lithuanian president added.