Poland summons Belarusian diplomat over border incident

The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the Belarusian charge d’affaires on Tuesday to discuss a violation of the Polish border by armed members of the Belarusian security forces.

Stanislaw Zaryn, the director of the National Security Department, tweeted on Wednesday that the incident was "another provocation" by Belarus.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that the conversation with Alaksander Czasnouski concerned "the intrusion of unidentified, armed, uniformed people armed with long weapons into the territory of Poland."

The incident took place on the morning of November 2, the ministry added.

"Another provocation! On Tuesday morning (November 2 at 1:45 am), Polish soldiers noticed three uniformed people with long weapons on the territory of the Republic of Poland," said Zaryn. "After the Polish patrol tried to make contact, the unknown persons reloaded their weapons and then departed in the direction Belarus."

According to the foreign ministry's statement, Piotr Wawrzyk, a deputy foreign minister expressed "a firm protest" against the violation of the Polish border, stressing that the actions taken by the Belarusian authorities in recent weeks showed increasingly clear signs of deliberate escalation that "will not be accepted."

Wawrzyk said "that Poland was determined to protect its own borders and the external borders of the European Union."

He added that together with the entire community of democratic states of the Euro-Atlantic community, Poland "will consistently oppose the illegal migration organised by Minsk."

"The deputy foreign minister announced that he would send a protest note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus and called on the Belarusian side to explain the incident immediately," according to the statement.

Czasnouski also attended talks at the Foreign Ministry in mid-October, after shots were fired close to the border, allegedly by the Belarusian security services.

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.