Poland has called on the European Union (EU) to assist in funding measures to enhance its eastern border security due to concerns over the presence of the Wagner group in Belarus.
The decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to offer troops from this private military company the option to relocate to Belarus has raised fears among eastern NATO members about the potential for increased instability in the region.
Poland‘s ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) have taken steps to strengthen the border, and now they expect assistance from Brussels to finance these measures.
Security Concerns and the Role of Wagner Group
The presence of the Wagner group in Belarus has caused alarm among NATO members in the east, including Poland. There are concerns that their presence could lead to heightened instability in the region. Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland’s ruling party, stated that they believe there could be approximately 8,000 Wagner troops already in Belarus. In response, Poland plans to strengthen its border security through both temporary and permanent measures, including increasing the presence of security forces and fortifications.
Poland’s Expectation of EU Assistance
Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski emphasized that Poland expects the EU to provide financial support for the measures taken to strengthen the border. He stated that European solidarity entails supporting countries facing destabilization and that increased safeguards are necessary. Poland seeks assistance from the EU to alleviate the burden of financing these security measures.
Migrant Crisis and Accusations Against Belarus
Poland has accused Belarus of orchestrating an artificial migrant crisis at the border by transporting individuals from the Middle East and Africa and attempting to push them across the frontier. These accusations have exacerbated tensions between the two countries. Belarus has denied these allegations, leading to a strained relationship between the two nations.
Concerns of Hybrid Warfare and Diverging Views
Jaroslaw Kaczynski warned that the presence of the Wagner group in Belarus could signify the onset of a new phase of hybrid warfare, presenting a more challenging situation than what Poland has encountered thus far.
Kaczynski, often seen as Poland’s de-facto ruler, adopted a stronger stance on border security compared to President Andrzej Duda, who had earlier addressed the issue during his visit to Kyiv. President Duda stated that while Poland would strengthen security on its border with Belarus if necessary, the frontier is already tightly secured.
Poland’s concerns over the presence of the Wagner group in Belarus have prompted the country to take steps to strengthen its eastern border security. As Poland expects the EU’s assistance in funding these measures, it emphasizes the need for European solidarity in supporting countries facing potential destabilization.
The accusations of an artificial migrant crisis orchestrated by Belarus further strain relations between the two nations. With differing perspectives on border security, Poland’s ruling party leader takes a stronger stance compared to the country’s president.
As the situation evolves, cooperation and support from the EU will be crucial in addressing the security concerns and maintaining stability in the region.