Poland on Tuesday said it was rushing more troops to its border with Belarus after accusing Minsk of violating its airspace with military helicopters, a claim Belarusian officials denied.
According to Reuters, Poland’s Defense Ministry said it was sending “additional forces and resources, including combat helicopters” to the border. Belarus has accused Poland of making up allegations about helicopters violating its airspace to justify a further buildup on the border.
“This statement was not backed up by data from Poland,” The Belarusian Defense Ministry said. “The Belarusian Defense Ministry views it in the manner of an ‘old wives’ tale’ and notes there were no border violations by Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters,” the ministry added.
Poland has already been beefing up its border due to the presence of the Russian mercenary force Wagner Group in Belarus. Wagner members recently held drills near the border, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko claimed the Russian mercenaries wanted to enter Poland.
Amid the tensions between Poland and Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Warsaw that he would treat an attack on Belarus as an attack on Russia. He also accused Poland of having designs on Ukrainian territory and warned a Polish-Lithuanian force might enter western Ukraine.