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Nato sees no threat to allies from Wagner troops in Belarus

Lungescu also renewed an appeal launched by Nato leaders in Vilnius in July and called on all countries not to support Russia in its illegal war against Ukraine and condemn all those who help Russia conduct this war.
Wiktor Dąbkowski/PAP

A Nato spokesperson has told PAP that the alliance, which has been monitoring military operations in Belarus, sees no direct or indirect military threat to its allies posed by the Wagner mercenary group.

Oana Lungescu said on Tuesday that, at the same time, the alliance remained extra vigilant.

On Monday, Belarus started military exercises near its border with Poland and Lithuania. Warsaw and Vilnius have seen it as a reason for concern due to the presence in Belarus of more than 4,000 Wagner fighters, Russian mercenaries that used to be supported by the Kremlin, but whose 24-hour mutiny forced them to seek a safe haven in Belarus.

The exercises are taking place in the Grodno district, near the Suwałki Gap, which separates the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea from Belarus.

Having recalled that Nato had increased its military presence in the alliance’s eastern part in response to Russia’s aggressive moves, the Nato spokesperson declared that the alliance continued to do everything in order to deter all possible threats and protect every inch of the allied territory.

Lungescu also renewed an appeal launched by Nato leaders in Vilnius in July and called on all countries not to support Russia in its illegal war against Ukraine and condemn all those who help Russia conduct this war.

Poland’s defence ministry agreed on Tuesday to send an additional 1,000 troops to the border with Belarus following a request from the border guard service, amid an increase in attempts to illegally cross the frontier to Poland.

Poland had earlier built a fence on the border with Belarus, equipped with electronic protection, to stem an inflow of mostly Middle Eastern and African migrants, who had been invited by Minsk under a false promise of an easy access to the EU.

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