Poland's decision to reinforce forces along the border with Belarus for reasons such as the presence of the Wagner Group is cause for concern, the Kremlin believes.
Speaking to reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called Poland an “aggressive” country and said it required "intensified attention," Reuters reports.
“Due to the tense situation on the border with Belarus, I decided to strengthen our forces with a group of 500 police officers from riot control units and counter-terrorists. They will join 5,000 Border Guard officers and 2,000 soldiers guarding the security of this Polish border” Mariusz Kaminski, the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, announced in early July.
“During the week, units of special operations forces together with representatives of the company Wagner Group will carry out combat training tasks at the training ground in Brest” – informed the Ministry of Defense of Belarus. This confirms the current rumors about the transfer of Yevgeny Prigozhin's mercenaries to the vicinity of the Polish border. The Polish Ministry of National Defense assures that it is “monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis”.
At the same time, it was announced that Wagner Group mercenaries would participate in joint training with special forces soldiers.
“The Armed Forces of Belarus continue joint training with fighters of the Wagner Group. During the week, special operations forces units together with representatives of the company will carry out combat training tasks at the training ground in Brest” it was reported.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense of Belarus reported that the mercenaries would conduct training for the military personnel of the Territorial Forces of Belarus near the town of Osipowicze in the Mogilev region.
According to reports from the Belarusian opposition media, there are currently 2 000 to 2 500 mercenaries of Yevgeny Prigozhin's private army in Belarus.
The Polish Ministry of National Defense stressed that Poland's borders are safe and the situation on the eastern border is monitored on an ongoing basis.
“We are prepared for the development of different scenarios as the situation develops” – assures the Ministry of National Defense in a statement sent to the Polish Press Agency.
“Both Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński and the head of the Ministry of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak emphasized that the Wagner Group could be used to destabilize the Polish-Belarusian border,” the ministry reminds. As noted, the reaction to the presence of the Wagner Group in Belarus and the possible threats that may be associated with it is to strengthen the cooperation of the Polish Army with the Border Guard“. The Polish Army has been present there for two years, soldiers together with the Border Guard patrol the border section with Belarus,” the ministry said.
The Ministry of National Defense noted that the army is currently conducting the "Safe Podlasie" operation, in which soldiers and equipment from the 12th and 17th Mechanized Brigades take part. "As the head of the Ministry of National Defense informed, the main goal of the "Safe Podlasie" operation is the forward training presence of part of the Land Forces and the demonstration of our will and full ability to immediately respond to any attempts to destabilize the situation on our eastern border," noted the Ministry of Defense.