HomeWorldPolandBelarusian Helicopters Violate Polish Airspace Amid Escalating Tensions

Belarusian Helicopters Violate Polish Airspace Amid Escalating Tensions

Poland’s government reported that two Belarusian helicopters breached its airspace on Tuesday, contributing to rising tensions along the NATO member’s border with Russia’s ally. In response to the incident, Warsaw authorities decided to bolster military presence along the border and summoned Belarus’ top diplomat to express their protest. The Defense Ministry also informed NATO about the airspace violation.

Both Poland and Lithuania, as members of the European Union and NATO, have expressed security concerns due to their proximity to Russia’s ally, Belarus, and Ukraine on their eastern border. The situation has been exacerbated by an influx of migrants and refugees attempting to enter Poland and Lithuania, which these countries view as an attempt by Belarus to create instability, a matter of concern for the past two years.

Earlier on Tuesday, Polish residents near the border claimed to have seen helicopters with Belarusian insignia flying overhead, and some even posted photos of the aircraft. Initially, Poland’s military denied any airspace violation, but later, the Defense Ministry admitted the incident, explaining that the Belarusian helicopters were conducting training near the border and had flown at a low altitude, avoiding radar detection.

In response to the airspace incursion, Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak ordered an increase in the number of soldiers and combat helicopters along the border. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry summoned the chargé d’affaires of Belarus to issue a firm protest and demanded a detailed explanation of the incident. Poland emphasized that this violation adds to the escalating tension on the Polish-Belarusian border and expects Belarus to refrain from such activities.

Adding to the concern, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki disclosed that more than 100 mercenaries belonging to the Wagner Group in Belarus had been spotted near the Polish border, heading towards the Suwalki Gap, a strategically important area of Polish territory.

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