Belarusian violation of airspace a short-lived provocation says deputy PM
This was a short-lived provocation, the Polish deputy prime minister has said about an unauthorised entry into Polish airspace of two Belarusian military helicopters.
"Such provocations from beyond our eastern border take place and will surely continue but we will allow no one to intimidate us," Jarosław Kaczyński told PAP on Thursday.
On Tuesday, two Belarusian military helicopters made an unauthorised entry into Polish airspace.
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. Belarus's charge d'affaires had been urgently summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Asked whether they should have been shot down, Kaczyński said that Russian planes "have been constantly violating airspace of other countries, especially the Baltic States."
"They are being intercepted and escorted by Nato planes but no one shoots them down," Kaczyński said.
"Of course, (Russian and Belarusian Presidents - PAP) Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko would be very glad if such thing happened. Provocations take place and will surely happen as they are helpless," Kaczyński said.
"They know that Poland is a Nato member and that it has strengthened the protection of its border," the deputy prime minister concluded.