Warsaw: The government of Poland will deploy 2,000 troops to the country’s border with Belarus to maintain stability, Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik told local media.
Speaking to the Polish Press Agency (PAP) Wednesday, Wasik said the commander of Poland’s border guard had originally asked for an additional 1,000 soldiers, but Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and the Security Committee decided to double the number.
Currently, around 2,000 Polish troops are stationed along the Poland-Belarus border, supporting hundreds of policemen and border guards, according to the PAP.
According to the Deputy Interior Minister, the additional troops are slated to be deployed within two weeks.
The development comes amid ongoing tensions between the two neighbouring nations.
Earlier this month, authorities in Warsaw had alleged two Belarusian helicopters allegedly violated the Polish airspace during training exercises August 2.
The incident occurred at the eastern border region of Bialowieza which is located south of the Suwalki gap — a thin strip of land between Poland and Lithuania that links the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad to Belarus and it is the only overland connection between the Baltic states and the rest of the EU.
But Belarus vehemently denied and had dismissed the allegation as “far-fetched”.
There were also reports that troops from the Wagner mercenary group were moving towards the Suwalki gap from Belarus, CNN reported.
In July, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned that the mercenaries were heading towards Suwalki via Grodno, a city in western Belarus, in a situation that is “becoming even more dangerous” as Russian-allied forces attempt to increase their presence near the NATO border.
Moscow used Belarusian territory to facilitate its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, strengthening ties between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his counterpart in Minsk Alexander Lukashenko.