Poland, Lithuania and Latvia are ready to close the border with Belarus, says Polish interior minister

Border Guard officers on the Polish border with Belarus (Source: Twitter@MSWiA_GOV_PL)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia may jointly decide to close their borders with Belarus, if serious incidents involving the Wagner Group occur on the Belarusian border, Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Mariusz Kamiński revealed on Thursday.

The Polish minister did not rule out that “if the countries consider this to be the right response, it will lead to the complete isolation of Belarus.”

On July 19, Poland decided to move military units to the east after Wagner mercenaries began training Belarusian special forces a few kilometers from its border. Two days later, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Poland of territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union and said that any aggression on Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia.

After the failed march of Prigozhin’s mercenaries on Moscow, aimed at overthrowing Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, the Wagner Group was given the opportunity to move to Belarus, negotiated by Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. At least several thousand mercenaries are conducting territorial defense training for certain army units in Belarus.

In a conversation with Putin, Lukashenko allegedly “joked” that Prigozhin’s people stress him by talking about “trips to Warsaw and Rzeszów.” Poland, which denies any territorial ambitions on Belarus, has been an important refuge for opponents of Lukashenko, and Warsaw has become one of the most ardent supporters of Kyiv since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Road traffic between Poland and Belarus has been limited since February due to worsening relations between the two countries. Poland also accused Belarus of artificially provoking a migration crisis at the border by pushing an influx of people from the Middle East and Africa across the border. Belarus has repeatedly denied this.

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