Poland has announced its intention to deploy roughly 10,000 troops to the eastern border with Belarus, as a response to growing concerns about Wagner forces in the area.
Following a brief uprising by the group, Wagner’s troops have been stationed in Belarus, whose close allies are Russia.
Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish Defense Minister, informed public radio that 10,000 soldiers will be stationed on the border, while 4,000 will provide direct assistance to the front line guard and the remaining 6,000 will serve in reserve.
Blaszczak cited allegations of violations of Polish airspace by two military aircraft, which Belarus has labeled as “far-fetched” in explaining the move.
Another provocation was expressed by Blaszczak, stating that the Belarusian approach should not be underestimated when violating Polish space with their helicopters.
“The actions occurring in Belarus are being synchronized with Russian activities,” he added.
The European Air Defence Conference at Les Invalides in Paris on June 19, 2023, is attended by Polish Defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak.
On July 09, 2023, the border wall at the Polish Belarusian border was erected. Credit: Omar Marques/Getty Images.
On Wednesday, Blaszczak agreed to send additional troops to the border but did not provide a specific number, as reported by Polish state news agency PAP.
According to a report published by the Defense Ministry on Wednesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu discussed how Russia could enhance its military strength on its western frontiers.
Shoigu attributed the move to the rising militarization of Poland, which he believed was one of the reasons.
In recent weeks, Poland has been raising concerns about the presence of Wagner forces in Belarus.
In an apparent attempt to put pressure on NATO and EU members, troops from the Russian mercenary group Wagner are moving towards the Suwalki gap or corridor, which saw increased activity at the start of August.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister, cautioned that Wagner supporters could pose as migrants to cross the border.
Lithuania, one of Belarus’s neighbors, has also bolstered its border due to the threat posed by Wagner fighters.