Minsk accuses Poland of aerial incursion, Warsaw issues denial

Poland has denied an allegation made on Tuesday by the Belarusian Defence Ministry regarding an incursion into Belarusian airspace from the Polish side.

Belarus said on Tuesday that on Monday "an unidentified flying object" had entered Belarusian airspace at 8.45 p.m. local time and then turned back towards Poland.

"Military aircraft did not conduct any flights close to the state border between Poland and Belarus in the late hours of April 12," the Polish Defence Ministry responded in a tweet on Tuesday.

The Belarusian Defence Ministry summoned Poland's defence attaché in Minsk on Tuesday. "He was told that it is necessary to investigate the incident and to provide the Belarusian side with information," the ministry said later in a statement.

Relations between Warsaw and Minsk have chilled since Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko began to use anti-Polish rhetoric amid domestic protests against last August's presidential election which Lukashenko claims he won, but the opposition says was rigged.

Belarus has been gripped by months of nationwide protests against Lukashenko's rule, and the regime has responded with violence and persecutions.

Lukashenko has recently resorted to repression against the Polish minority in Belarus and several top Polish activists have been arrested. The arrests triggered a harsh response from Warsaw, which was backed by the EU and the US.