Poland announced on July 2 that it would send 500 police to strengthen security on its border with Belarus to deal with the growing number of migrants and potential threats after the mercenary Wagner Group relocated to Belarus.
The relocation of Wagner’s troops to Belarus in the wake of the failed insurgency has raised fears that their presence could cause further instability in Eastern Europe.
Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski tweeted that riot police and counterterrorism units will be deployed to control the “tense situation” at the border. He said they would join the 5,000 guards and 2,000 soldiers already stationed at the border with Belarus.
According to Reuters, the Polish Border Guard said the move comes after 187 people tried to enter Poland from Belarus on Saturday illegally. Warsaw accuses Minsk of trying to create a migrant crisis by pushing people from Africa and the Middle East across the border into Poland. Belarus denies the accusation.
Last week, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party said Warsaw believes there may already be 8,000 Wagnerian troops in Belarus. The party said Poland would take temporary and permanent measures to strengthen its borders, including stationing more security forces and building fortifications.
On Wednesday, Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the “Law and Justice” party, said that Russian PMC Wagner’s presence in Belarus represents a new stage in the hybrid war.