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    Poland and Lithuania Consider Border Closures Amidst Concerns Over Wagner Group’s Presence in Belarus

    Amid mounting concerns surrounding the activities of the Wagner Group, a Russia-linked mercenary organization, Poland and Lithuania are contemplating the possibility of shutting down their respective borders with Belarus. The Polish Interior Minister, Mariusz Kamiński, took to X (previously known as Twitter) to reveal his recent telephone exchange with Lithuanian counterpart Agne Bilotaite. Their discussions revolved around forging a collaborative response to the emerging threats originating from Belarus.

    One of the key propositions on the table involves the potential closure of all border crossings, a move that would essentially cut off Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime from the neighboring countries. In a show of solidarity, Lithuania has already taken a preliminary step by announcing the closure of two out of the six border crossings with Belarus. This decision comes in the wake of reports indicating the deployment of Wagner Group mercenaries to Belarus.

    Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki convened a meeting with Lithuanian counterpart Gitanas Nauseda at the Poland-Lithuania border. The strategic location for this discussion was the Suwałki Gap, a vital corridor that demarcates the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad from Belarus. According to Morawiecki, a concerning development has seen over 100 of the estimated 4,000 Wagner mercenaries present in Belarus move closer to the Suwałki Gap.

    In response to these unsettling movements, the leaders of Poland and Lithuania are working in tandem to address the potential security ramifications posed by the presence of Russian mercenaries within Belarus. The prospect of sealed borders and a concerted effort to isolate the Lukashenko regime underscores the gravity of the situation and the regional concern it has triggered.

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