As the unsuccessful Ukrainian counteroffensive drags on, the attention of the world starts to focus on a potential new front in the European turmoil: Poland.
Member of both the European Union and NATO, Poland is worried about its security with both Russian ally Belarus and Ukraine on its eastern border.
The situation has become more acute ever since Wagner PMC troops arrived in Belarus and positioned themselves near the Polish border.
Associated Press reported:
“Over 100 mercenaries belonging to the Russian-linked Wagner group in Belarus have moved close to the border with Poland, the Polish prime minister said Saturday.
Mateusz Morawiecki said at a news conference that the mercenaries had moved close to the Suwalki Gap, a strategic stretch of Polish territory situated between Belarus and Kaliningrad, a Russian territory separated from the mainland.”
The Poland-Belarus border is a tense place because of the large numbers of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa that seek to enter the EU by crossing into Poland and Lithuania.
“Poland’s government accuses Russia and Belarus of using the migrants to destabilize Poland and other EU countries. It calls the migration a form of hybrid warfare, and has responded by building a high wall along part of its border with Belarus.
‘Now the situation becomes even more dangerous aa He added that “this is certainly a step towards a further hybrid attack on Polish territory’.”
PM Morawiecki moved Polish troops and policemen to the region, and is also building a wall to limit possible crossing points.
“Local media in Poland and Belarus have reported sightings of more than 100 Wagner mercenaries moving towards the Suwałki Gap—a thin strip of land that is the border between NATO members Poland and Lithuania, but is flanked by Belarusian and Russian land on each side.
The news comes after the Belarusian Defense Ministry confirmed earlier this month that the Russian mercenary group had teamed up with Belarusian troops to share their ruthless tactics, with Wagner bosses declaring a a new ‘beginning’ for the group in that country.
[…] It is clear, however, that many Polish leaders view the recent near-border military exercises as a threat in itself. Zbigniew Hoffmann, the secretary of Poland’s National Security Committee, recently characterized the exercises as ‘undoubtedly a provocation’.”
The destabilization at the Suwałki Gap could trigger NATO’s Article 5, which bands members into a pact that an attack on one is an attack on all.
“The Suwałki Gap has long been considered one the most vital—and vulnerable—strips of NATO soil. If a conflict were to break out and the 60-mile strip were taken over by enemy forces, NATO would be completely cut off by land from its Baltic members Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.”
Like Poland, Lithuania is also a member of NATO and the EU, a critic of Russia’s operations in Ukraine and have boith supplied weapons to Kyiv.
Now, they share the same fear.
“Lithuania’s president reinforced a warning about the presence of Russian mercenaries in neighboring Belarus, saying the Wagner group could conduct “various provocations” across the border.
‘We cannot rule out such a threat’, President Gitanas Nauseda told journalists on Monday, according to the Baltic nation’s public broadcaster. Considering the new proximity, ‘it is really too tempting to be here — not far from our border — not to use their presence for various provocations’.”
Russian sources call Poland’s fears false and an electoral ploy. Russian analyst Yuri Kotenok wrote about how a ‘decline in Russophobic sentiment in Polish society’ would be fueling Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s concerns.
Kotenok accused the PM of ‘thinking that his citizens are complete idiots’.
“Given that Poland has a 150,000-strong army and NATO military bases on its territory, Mr Mateusz’s hysteria is a little too naive.
The Suwalki corridor is 100 kilometers long. But it is quite difficult to occupy – the terrain, with lakes and swamps, does not allow for quick offensive actions. It is even harder to hold because NATO will be able to attack from the Baltic states and Poland. And not only land forces will be involved. The location of the ‘Suwalki Corridor’ makes it possible to use the entire missile and air power of NATO’s navies.
[…] Morawiecki is blatantly lying to the Polish electorate for the sake of personal political gain and the preferences of his masters in Washington and London.”
The lack of trust in Morawiecki’s reasons for raising the alarm also apply to his own domestic opposition.
Intel Republic reported:
“Panicked Poland’s jumping at Wagner PMC shadows as opposition leader accuses country’s ruling party of colluding with Chief Prigozhin.
Donald Tusk accuses ruling Law and Justice Party of making deal with Wagner for their troops to move closer to Suwalki Gap in order to incite panic in Polish citizens and get them to vote for ruling party in October’s elections.”
The post Poland Raises Alarm Over Wagner PMC Fighters Near Belarusian Border – Swalki Gap Is New Focus of European Military Conflict – Polish Opposition Say PM Morawiecki Needs Emergency to Win Next Election appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.