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Poland demands Belarus urgently explain airspace violation

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has called on Minsk to urgently explain the unauthorised entry into Polish airspace of two Belarusian military helicopters on Tuesday.

“On August 4, 2023, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Minsk provided the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus with detailed information conclusively confirming the fact that on August 1, 2023, two Belarusian military helicopters violated Polish airspace,” the MFA said in a statement on Friday.

According to the MFA, the presented data contradicts Belarus’s official position expressed in a statement published by the Belarusian foreign and defence ministries.

“We call on the Belarusian side to urgently clarify this incident, correct its position on this matter and stop all provocations along the Polish-Belarusian border,” the Friday statement read.

On Tuesday, August 1, Poland’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported that during an exercise, Belarusian helicopters entered Polish airspace over the Bialowieza area near the Polish-Belarusian border. Following the incident, Poland increased its military presence and deployed combat helicopters on its border with Belarus.

Nato was informed about the incident, the MoD said.

On Tuesday night, the MFA urgently summoned Belarus’s charge d’affaires.

“We related a definite protest in relation to the violation of airspace, but also at the escalation of activities against Ukraine, because Belarus is also an accomplice of that war,” Pawel Jablonski, a deputy foreign minister, said after the meeting.

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