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Nato vows to protect allied territory following airspace breach

Leszek Szymański/PAP

Nato is in close contact with the Polish government and will do everything necessary to maintain the security of its members’ territory, a Nato source has told PAP following the incursion into Polish airspace of two Belarusian military helicopters on Tuesday.

Nato is carefully following the situation along its eastern flank, including Tuesday’s incident, the Nato headquarters source said on Wednesday.

The flights of the two Belarusian helicopters over the Bialowieza area near the Polish-Belarusian border were first reported on Tuesday morning by Polish private radio RMF FM.

Poland’s Ministry of National Defence said the aircraft had flown in at very low altitude, making radar detection difficult.

Following the breach, Poland’s defence minister convened a sitting of the Committee for National Security and Defence Affairs, as a result of which troop numbers were increased along Poland’s border with Belarus and additional assets deployed, including combat helicopters.

A deputy defence minister described the event on Wednesday morning as a “provocation” aimed at Poland and the eastern flank of Nato.

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