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Poland to Send Additional Troops to Belarus Border

Poland’s Deputy Interior Minister, Maciej Wąsik, on August 9, 2023, notified that Poland will be reinforcing its border with Belarus with the addition of 2000 troops. This was an effort to maintain stability during increased tensions at the border, and an increase in the number of migrant crossings. The reinforcements announced were twice greater than the number that was initially requested by the Border Guards. The troops are expected to reach in two weeks to aid the Border Guard in the regions of Podlaskie and Lubelskie.

According to Poland’s state news agency, PAP, the Deputy Interior Minister said that the decision to send reinforcements was made during discussions at the Council of Ministers for National Security and Defence Affairs, with increasing security concerns at the border. There were fears of another migration crisis being caused, similar to the one in 2021, where many migrants tried to cross the borders to enter Poland. Wasik added that the attempts at illegal border crossings into Poland were organized by Belarusian authorities. The decision also came after there were reports of the presence of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus, and Belarusian military exercises near the border.

The Deputy Interior Minister, Maciej Wąsik had earlier spoken at a press conference on August 7, 2023, where he discussed the present situation at the Polish-Belarusian border, stressing the increasing migration pressures. It was added that people from over 40 states were being brought by smugglers and Belarusian uniformed services and were aided by them in crossing the border illegally.

He also talked about increased Belarusian aggression towards the Polish officers at the border and said that the Commander-in-Chief of the Border Guard had asked the Ministry of Defence to deploy more soldiers to the Belarusian border in order to aid the Border Guard operation.

 

Author: Khushbakht Shahid is a student of the Strategic Studies Department at the National Defence University, Islamabad. Her areas of interest include regional politics, nuclear deterrence, arms control and disarmament.

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