MOSCOW, July 21 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused NATO member Poland of getting territorial ambitions within the former Soviet Union and stated any aggression towards Russia’s neighbor and shut ally Belarus can be thought-about an assault on Russia.
Moscow would react to any aggression towards Belarus, which varieties a free “union state” with Russia, “with all means at our disposal”, Putin advised a gathering of his Safety Council in televised remarks.
Warsaw’s safety committee selected Wednesday to maneuver navy items to japanese Poland after members of the Russian mercenary Wagner Power arrived in Belarus, the official PAP information company reported on Friday, citing its secretary.
On Wednesday, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was proven in a video welcoming his fighters to Belarus, telling them they’d not take part within the warfare in Ukraine for now however ordering them to muster forces for Wagner’s operations in Africa whereas they prepare the Belarusian navy.
Prigozhin says Wagner, who led the conquest of the Ukrainian metropolis of Bakhmut, is Russia’s handiest preventing drive. However his frequent clashes with Moscow’s protection institution led him to stage an armed mutiny 4 weeks in the past.
The insurgency ended with an settlement that Wagner fighters – lots of whom had been recruited from jail – may journey to Belarus in the event that they wished.
On Thursday, Minsk stated Wagner’s mercenaries started coaching Belarusian particular forces at a navy firing vary a number of miles from the Polish border.
In current weeks, Russia has begun inserting tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for the primary time. The Kremlin stated Putin would meet Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, with whom he speaks often, in Russia on Sunday.
German Protection Minister Boris Pistorius stated on Friday that Germany and NATO stand able to assist Poland in defending the alliance’s japanese flank.
Putin stated there have been information experiences of plans for a Polish-Lithuanian unit for use for operations in western Ukraine – elements of which as soon as belonged to Poland – and ultimately to occupy territory there.
“It’s well-known that in addition they dream of Belarusian lands,” he stated, additionally with out offering any proof.
“However so far as Belarus is worried, it’s a part of the Union State (along with Russia); unleashing aggression towards Belarus will imply aggression towards the Russian Federation,” Putin stated. “We are going to reply with all of the means at our disposal.”
Poland denies any territorial ambitions in Belarus.
Reuters reporting; Written by Kevin Liffey; Enhancing by Andrew Osborn and Angus MacSwan
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