Belarusians threaten to open fire at Polish soldiers, MoD says

Belarusian soldiers guarding a group of migrants at the border with Poland on Wednesday threatened Polish soldiers that they were going to open fire, the Polish Defence Ministry reported on Thursday.

According to the ministry, the threats were issued when Polish servicemen spotted a group of about 250 migrants near a border fence.

"Yesterday saw another provocation against Polish soldiers serving at the border," the ministry wrote on Twitter. "Belarusian soldiers guarding them (migrants - PAP) threatened to open fire at our soldiers."

The ministry said the Polish servicemen did not yield to the provocation.

"The actions of the Belarusian soldiers looked like an attempt to escalate the situation, but they were also an attempt to hide the fact that a group of migrants had crossed into Polish territory," the ministry wrote.

The ministry also said the Wednesday incident was yet another confirmation of the involvement of the Belarusian regime into pushing illegal migrants across the border into Polish territory.

On Wednesday, Stanislaw Zaryn, director of the National Security Department, said Polish soldiers on Tuesday spotted three uniformed men with firearms who upon attempts to establish contact with them reloaded their weapons and departed towards Belarusian territory.

Following the incident, Poland sent a formal protest to Belarus.

Zaryn commenting the most recent threat said it was an attempt to intimidate Polish soldiers.

"We faced yet another provocation, yet another attempt not only to escalate the situation on our border, but we also gained yet more proof of the deep involvement of Belarusians in the process of pushing migrants to Poland," Zaryn told the state-run TVP Info television.

He explained that a Polish patrol encountered a group of migrants on the Belarusian side. "When the (Polish - PAP) soldiers tried to check on the situation, one of the Belarusian soldiers threatened the Poles that they will open fire," Zaryn said.

On Thursday, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry accused Poland of escalating tensions around the situation on the Belarusian-Polish border.

In the statement sent to Polish media, the Belarusian ministry referred to the previous incident involving the three armed men in uniforms.

Belarus said the alleged incident was a lie, adding that Poland had not presented any proof or documentation of the event.

The Belarusian ministry also said the Polish government took the matter to the media instead of using official diplomatic channels.

The ministry also said that Belarus "has neither provoked nor is going to provoke border incidents."

Poland has been struggling to stem an inflow of illegal migrants from the Middle East and Africa, who have allegedly been invited by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko under the false promise of a better life in the European Union.