On Tuesday, two Belarusian helicopters violated Polish airspace, as reported by the Ministry of National Defense (MON). Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of Defense, has ordered an increase in the number of soldiers at the border and the allocation of additional forces and resources, including combat helicopters. NATO has been informed of the incident.
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Radio RMF FM reported on the flights of Belarusian helicopters in the Białowieża region (Podlaskie Voivodeship) near the Polish-Belarusian border on Tuesday morning. It was first denied by the Polish authorities.
In the afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel Jacek Goryszewski, the spokesperson for the Operational Command of the Armed Forces, informed that the Belarusian side had provided information stating that a maximum of three helicopters could be present in the border area on Tuesday.
He emphasized that the radar systems did not detect any violation of Polish airspace, as they were flying at low altitudes.
“The violation of the border occurred in the vicinity of Białowieża at an extremely low altitude, making it difficult for radar systems to detect. Hence, in the morning statement, the Operational Command of the Armed Forces announced that Polish radar systems did not register any infringement of Polish airspace.” – it reads in the statement.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Defense, in order to clarify the current situation at the Polish-Belarusian border, Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak convened a meeting of the Committee for National Security and Defense, which he chairs.
There has been a violation of Polish airspace.
“After presenting conclusions from the analysis of the situation by commanders and chiefs of services, it was determined that today, August 1, 2023, there was a violation of Polish airspace by two Belarusian helicopters conducting training near the border,” reported the Ministry of National Defense (MON).
“In addition, the Committee has determined that the charge d’affaires of Belarus will be summoned to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to clarify the incident. We would like to remind that Russia and Belarus have recently increased their hybrid activities against Poland,” highlighted the Ministry of Defense.
“In light of potential further provocations, we urge for responsible dissemination and commenting on information that could be exploited by the Russian and Belarusian regimes,” stated the announcement.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MSZ) released a statment in which it informs that a representative from the Belarusian embassy had already been summoned and a “strong protest” was presented to him. It was also added that the ministry “called upon the Belarusian side to promptly provide a detailed explanation of the incident.”
“The Polish side emphasized that the incident is regarded as another escalation of tensions on the Polish-Belarusian border. Poland expects Belarus to refrain from such activities,” reads the communication.
Belarusian helicopters in Poland
On Tuesday morning, residents of Białowieża spotted Belarusian helicopters near the Polish border.
It seems that Belarusian aircraft of the Mi-17 and Mi-24 types have appeared near the Polish border.
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