Poland strengthens its border with Belarus to counter Wagner threat

By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Ruling party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński told reporters that the arrival of the Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus marks a new stage in the war and that Poland is taking measures to strengthen its borders. He revealed that Poland estimates around 8,000 Wagner troops may be relocated to Belarus and that this has created a new dynamic inside the country.

The Law and Justice (PiS) party head said he fears that this arrival could be dangerous for Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine. He also said it could mean a “new phase in the hybrid war” that will be much harder to deal with than the migration crisis on the border caused by Belarus facilitating illegal border crossings. 

Kaczyński stated that the Polish border with Belarus will now be strengthened, both with additional military forces and fortifications. This decision was taken “to protect the public and deter the enemy.” He added that Poland’s security policy must be executed with the most pessimistic scenarios in mind.

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak told reporters that the Wagner Group consisted of “people who are demoralized and also dangerous.” He also said that Poland had secured its border in the face of hybrid attacks in the shape of illegal migrants over the past two years. Tough decisions were taken and the worst-case scenario was avoided thanks to the determination and foresight of decision-makers. 

Both Kaczyński and Błaszczak hinted that Poland had to be prepared to repel attacks by the Wagner mercenaries. They confirmed that the state of preparedness of both the border guards and the military would have to match the scale of the peak of the illegal migrant crisis on the Polish border in 2021. 

Asked whether Poland was counting on NATO support with regard to its border with Belarus, Kaczyński responded by saying that Poland is in contact with its NATO allies, but the “protection of our borders against hybrid attacks is our responsibility.” However, he conceded that should there be actual military aggression used against Poland on that border, Poland would have no choice but to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty and request alliance support.

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