2 Aug 2023 11:30

Polish deputy interior minister proposes fully blocking EU border with Belarus

WARSAW. Aug 2 (Interfax) - The member states of the European Union bordering Belarus should completely block the country off, Polish Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wasik said on Polish television.

"Poland, Lithuania and Latvia should completely isolate Belarus," Wasik said on Wednesday when commenting on a report, which alleged that two Belarusian helicopters entered Polish airspace on Tuesday during an exercise near the Polish border.

"The situation is completely unpredictable. We assume there might be provocations from Belarusian territory, alongside destabilization of Poland during the election campaign. The same may happen to Lithuania and Latvia," he said.

"We have to take the worst-case scenarios into account, so we are strengthening the border and redeploying troops," Wasik said.

"After the commanders and service heads submitted their conclusions about the analysis of the situation, it was established that today, August 1, 2023, Polish airspace was infringed by two Belarusian helicopters which were training near the border," the Polish Defense Ministry said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"The Belarusian side had notified the Polish side about the exercise," the statement said.

The Polish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it summoned the Belarusian charge d'affaires ad interim over the violation of Polish airspace by Belarusian helicopters.

"The Polish Foreign Ministry expressed its resolute protest and urged the Belarusian side to give an immediate and detailed explanation of the incident," the ministry said.

"The incident is seen as yet another element of the escalation of tensions on the Polish-Belarusian border," it said.