Belarus denies violating Polish airspace

Belarus denies violating Polish airspace

Following developments, Warsaw decided to increase number of troops, military assets at border, including helicopters

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) – Belarus denied violation of Polish airspace by its helicopters, calling Polish allegations "far-fetched," according to local media on Wednesday.

Accusations of crossing into the Polish airspace by Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters were made by the Polish military and political leadership "to justify the military build-up near the Belarusian border," state news agency Belta reported, citing the Belarusian Defense Ministry.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry noted that although Polish authorities said early Tuesday that their radars did not detect violations, however later they "changed their narrative" to say that "the helicopters crossed the border at a low altitude and were not picked up by radar."

"This statement is not confirmed by Poland's monitoring and recording systems. Therefore, the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Belarus dismisses this statement as baseless rumors and insists that there were no violations of the airspace by the Mi-24 and Mi-8 helicopters," said the ministry.

Poland on Tuesday accused Belarus of airspace violation and Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz on public radio called the violation a provocation.

Skurkiewicz stressed that this situation is "absolutely unsafe," and added that his country will take appropriate action against potential threats in case of escalation, Polish news agency PAP reported on Tuesday.

Poland informed NATO of the violation and Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak decided to increase the number of troops and military assets at the border, including helicopters.

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