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Poland denies military helicopter flew into Belarusian airspace

Reports that a Polish military helicopter breached Belarusian airspace on Friday have been dismissed by the Operational Command of Poland’s armed forces as lies and a provocation.

The Reuters and AFP news agencies reported on Friday evening, citing the Belarusian Border Guard, that a Polish MI-24 helicopter gunship had crossed the Belarusian border, flying to a distance of 1.2 kilometres inside Belarusian territory before returning to Poland.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said following the reports that the claim had to be approached with caution as the Belarusian security and border-control services “are a direct extension of the (Belarusian President Alexander) Lukashenko regime.”

Jablonski went on to explain that “what (the Belarusian security services – PAP) say is not usually based on the truth, and is intended to achieve political aims,” adding that such aims were usually hostile to Poland.

A press officer for Poland’s Operational Command, which supervises missions of the armed forces, told PAP the accusation was “an arrant lie and a provocation.” He said the Operational Command had analysed the situation and that “data from the registration and radio-location records show that no such incident took place.”

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