Warsaw is taking the threat from the Wagner group, who are conducting joint exercises with Belarusian soldiers near the Poland-Belarus border in Brest, seriously. According to the PAP news agency, the Polish defense ministry has made the decision to relocate Polish troops from the western part of the country to the eastern border. Deputy Minister Zbigniew Hoffmann described the training and collaboration between the Belarusian army and the Wagner Group as provocations that Poland could anticipate from either Russia or Belarus.
Hoffmann stated, “The ministry’s security committee has thoroughly analyzed potential threats, and Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has personally decided to transfer our troops from the western region of Poland to the eastern border.” However, the exact number of troops to be relocated was not specified.
The Polish troops will engage in training on the eastern border while simultaneously acting as a deterrent against any potential aggression. The defense ministry is closely monitoring the situation on the Belarusian border. Information regarding the joint training of the Belarusian army and the Wagner Group near Poland’s border emerged recently, prompting the Polish Security Committee to evaluate the risks involved. As of now, the ministry has stated that the situation on the border with Belarus remains stable.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also expressed concern about the threat posed by the Wagner Group to Poland and the entire eastern wing of NATO after a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in Katowice.
Four days prior, State Duma deputy Andrei Kartapolov was quoted on Russian state television Rossiya-1, stating that the Wagner Group had gone to Belarus to train the local army and was prepared to seize the Suwałki Corridor, the crucial area between Poland and Lithuania, at a moment’s notice.
The Suwałki Corridor is of significant importance to NATO’s eastern flank, hosting essential infrastructure such as a gas connection vital for the Lithuanian LNG terminal, and it serves as the sole land link connecting the three Baltic States to other EU and NATO countries.