Belarus summons Poland's envoy over border row

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus summoned Poland's charge d'affaires to Minsk on Thursday to express its anger over Polish officials reporting "Belarusian provocations" along their common border.

On Tuesday, the Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the Belarusian charge d'affaires following an intrusion across the Polish border by armed members of the Belarusian security forces.

In an apparent tit-for-tat move on Thursday, Poland's charge d'affaires Marcin Wojciechowski was called to the Foreign Ministry of Belarus.

According to a statement issued by the Belarusian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, a strong protest was issued to the Polish diplomat in connection with the statements of representatives of the Polish authorities about "the intrusion of unidentified, armed, uniformed people into the territory of Poland."

During the meeting, attention was drawn to the fact that "the dissemination of similar, absolutely unsupported innuendo, has already become the norm of the official behaviour of Warsaw," the statement continued.

The Polish diplomat was also told that "it is unacceptable to aggravate the situation on the border by using methods that are extremely questionable from the point of view of the principles of good neighborliness and common sense."

It also said that "Belarus has never provoked and does not intend to provoke border incidents and therefore categorically rejects similar provocations."

The statement declared Belarus' readiness to resolve "any issues, including sensitive issues, in a spirit of dialogue based on mutual respect."

Earlier on Thursday, the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published another statement accusing the Polish authorities of "seeking an escalation on the border with Belarus."

The Polish Ministry of Defence said earlier in the day that Belarusian soldiers guarding a group of migrants at the border with Poland on Wednesday threatened to open fire on Polish troops just across the common frontier.

Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have accused the government of Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, of bringing migrants from the Middle East and then pushing them across the EU border in an effort to destabilise the EU in retaliation for sanctions that Brussels has imposed on Minsk.

Since January, the Polish Border Guard has thwarted nearly 30,000 illegal attempts to cross the Polish-Belarusian border.

Poland introduced a state of emergency along the Belarusian border owing to the increasing numbers of migrants crossing into Poland from Belarus.