Lithuania will strengthen the protection of the border with Belarus by transferring additional forces in connection with the tense situation, said the head of the State Border Guard Service under the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, General Rustamas Ljubajevas.
“Plans have been prepared, according to which we can deploy additional forces near the border as soon as possible to respond to changes in the situation”, Ljubajevas said (quoted by TASS).
Before that, the Lithuanian authorities approved a plan to cover the border with Belarus. Vilnius explained these actions by a new threat, created by the mercenaries of the Wagner PMC on the Belarusian territory.
“According to the plan, the army, police and other structures are ready to assist the border guards”, said Ljubajevas.
Before that, Poland announced about the transfer of an additional thousand military personnel to the border with Belarus. The Ministry of Defense of the Republic explained that such a decision was taken in connection with the “dynamic situation” on the Polish-Belarusian border and the corresponding request of the commandant of the Border Guard Service.
At the same time, there are already two thousand soldiers on the border on the Polish side. Earlier, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak promised to continue building up this group of troops, while head of the Interior Ministry Maciej Wonsik urged to consider the “worst scenarios” and try to “completely isolate” Belarus.
“The situation is completely unpredictable. We believe that there could be provocations from the territory of Belarus, destabilization of Poland during the election campaign, the same will affect Lithuania and Latvia”, Wonsik said.
Against this background, the armed forces of Belarus began exercises near the borders with Poland and Lithuania. “A stage with live firing was held at the Gozhsky training range, during which a tactical episode with ambush operations was played out. The leadership of the exercise created a complex situation, as close as possible to a real combat situation”, the press service of the republic’s Defense Ministry said (quoted by RIA Novosti).
In late July, Belarus held joint exercises with Wagner PMC at the Brestskiy firing range near the border with Poland. Three days after that, Aleksandr Lukashenko told Vladimir Putin that he had become “tense” with the mercenaries of Yevgeny Prigozhin, who left Russia after the mutiny, as they were raring to go “on a tour” to Warsaw and Rzeszów.
July 29, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warned of a potential threat from the fighters of Wagner PMC, who moved in the direction of the Suwalki corridor, linking Poland with Lithuania and separating Belarus from Russia’s Kaliningrad region. If Russia seizes this corridor, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will be cut off from other NATO countries.