Poland raising number of troops on border with Belarus

Poland raising number of troops on border with Belarus

Poland is boosting its military presence due to heightened fears of incursions from its eastern border

By Jo Harper

WARSAW (AA) – Poland will further increase the number of troops on its border with Belarus and allocate additional resources to protect the border, Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Thursday.

Poland has already moved 1,000 troops to the towns of Biala Podlaska and Kolnot, along with 500 police personnel to beef up security.

“Hybrid attacks on Polish territory are certainly coordinated in the Kremlin. The aim of these attacks is to destabilize Poland. We must be aware that provocations will follow and on Aug. 1 we faced such a provocation,” Blaszczak said at a briefing with Polish soldiers in the northeastern city of Bialystok, referring to the alleged violation of the Polish border by Belarusian helicopters.

On Tuesday, the Polish Defense Ministry said that Belarusian military machines had violated Polish airspace, a claim Belarus denied.

“We have to take into account further provocations, especially in an election year. It will not be possible to destabilize the eastern part of our country, thanks to the service of the soldiers of the Polish Army. It was my command to strengthen security at the border,” Blaszczak said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the defense minister also announced the conclusion of a contract for the supply of several hundred Spike-LR anti-tank guided missiles for the Polish Army. The contract with Mesko is worth 400 million zlotys (about €90 million).

The first Bystra radars will be delivered to the army this year, adding to Poland’s anti-aircraft and anti-missile operations, the defense minister said.

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