Russian Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus have moved toward Poland’s strategic border with Russia and could cross the border disguised as illegal migrants, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has warned.
Morawiecki made the remarks at a press conference during a visit to an arms factory in the southern Polish city of Gliwice, according to the BBC in the UK and CNN in the US.
Morawiecki first said that “about 100 Wagnerian troops have moved near the western Belarusian city of Grodna (Grodno), close to the Polish and Lithuanian borders.”
The city is 15 kilometers and 30 kilometers from the Polish and Lithuanian borders, respectively, and close to the Subauki Corridor, a narrow 96-kilometer stretch of land between Poland and Lithuania.
The Subauki Corridor connects the Russian enclaves of Kaliningrad and Belarus on the Baltic Sea coast and is the only land corridor between the three Baltic states and the rest of the European Union (EU).
It is strategically important because if Russia were to control it, it would effectively separate the Baltic states from NATO.
Because of this, CNN analyzed that the deployment of the Wagner Group near this Subauki corridor could represent an escalation that could shake up North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and EU member states.
Poland believes that the Wagner mercenaries’ move is part of a “hybrid attack” aimed at fomenting instability in the country, a form of attack that combines regular and irregular warfare, political warfare with cyber warfare.
In response, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, which share borders with Belarus, are considering closing their borders in the worst case scenario.
“We are in talks with Lithuania and Latvia, and if the Wagner Group does something serious on the border between NATO and the EU, we cannot exclude the possibility of resolving measures that would mean the complete isolation of Belarus,” Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski told reporters during a visit to the Belarusian border on March 27.
Lithuanian Deputy Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius also told reporters on March 28 that “these considerations are real” and that “the possibility of closing the border exists,” AFP reported.
Lukashenko met with Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia, 카지노사이트넷 on March 23 and told him that the Wagner group wanted to advance into Poland.