Media report Polish soldier has deserted to Belarus

Wojtek Jargiło/PAP

Poland's Armed Forces Operational Command has told PAP that it cannot confirm that a Polish soldier has defected to Belarus.

Reports of a soldier defecting from Poland have appeared in a number of news outlets.

"We cannot confirm information appearing in the media about the alleged desertion of a soldier to Belarus. Investigations are still on-going in this matter," the Command said in a press statement.

It did confirm, however, that a soldier from the 11th Artillery Regiment had gone missing while on duty on Thursday.

"An intensive and extensive search effort involving soldiers and all services operating at the border has been launched. The search continues," said the press release.

According to media reports on Friday, the soldier, Emil Czeczko, had abandoned his post and fled to Belarus. The news came after the Belarusian State Border Committee (GPK), the equivalent of the Polish Border Guard, announced on Friday morning that a Polish soldier had allegedly asked for asylum in Belarus.

GPK claims that the soldier was detained by a Belarusian border guard patrol on Thursday afternoon and that he had stated that he did not agree with the policy of the Polish authorities on the migration crisis.

The Belarusian border guard has also published photos of the soldier from his social network accounts.