By Kevin Zhang
The Polish foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it had summoned Belarusian diplomat Alexander Chesnovsky to complain after Belarusian troops equipped with rifles crossed into Poland overnight.
It was the third time this month that the ministry has summoned Chesnovsky regarding border incidents between Belarus and Poland, the easternmost EU border with Belarus.
As an EU member state, Poland is facing harsh pressure, as well as Lithuania and Latvia, as Belarus is now encouraging migrants to pass by Minsk as a transit point during their journey to the European Union.
Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Polish security services has said that after crossing around 300 meters (roughly 1000 feet) into Polish territory, the Belarusian soldiers were confronted by a Polish border patrol. The Belarusians reportedly departed after reloading their weapons.
“It was enough to assume it was not a mistake,” Zaryn added.
Zaryn has told the media that there has been a “series of incidents and provocations organized by Belarusians, but this was the most dangerous incident so far.”
The European Commission has called the effort by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to flood EU countries with migrants part of a “hybrid war strategy” waged in retaliation for sanctions against his regime following the contested August 2020 presidential election. Lukashenko is supported by Russian President Putin.
Peter Stano, spokesman for the European Commission, told media outlets that if confirmed, the latest territorial intrusion by Belarusian troops into Poland “would be yet another provocation from the side of (the) Lukashenko regime against the European Union and its member states.”