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    Russian Mercenary Group Might Plan to Push Migrants towards Polish Border, Warns Deputy Minister

    Amid rising concerns, a deputy minister in Poland has issued a warning regarding the Russian mercenary Wagner Group’s potential involvement in pushing migrants towards the Polish border. Maciej Wąsik, the Polish deputy interior minister, expressed his apprehension during an interview with TV Republika, asserting that the Wagner Group has been fortifying its presence in Belarus following a failed mutiny against Russian authorities.

    The incident prompted Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko to mediate between the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Lukashenko subsequently offered a safe haven to Prigozhin and his mercenaries within Belarus.

    “These bloody mercenaries, often criminals, can carry out all types of missions,” stated Wąsik, emphasizing the potential risks associated with their presence in Belarus. He further added that the Wagner Group could exploit their location to exert pressure on people towards the Polish border.

    Apart from their alleged involvement in migrant manipulation, Wąsik also highlighted concerns about the Wagner Group’s offensive capabilities and potential threats to the Ukrainian border. Additionally, he expressed concerns in the context of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, as Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is in close proximity to the Lithuanian capital.

    The NATO summit, scheduled to take place from July 11-12, is expected to address various regional security issues.

    “They will carry out the duties that they are paid to perform… We do not know who is paying them nor what will happen when ‘this someone’ stops paying them,” Wąsik cautioned, underscoring the uncertainties surrounding the motivations and actions of the Wagner Group.

    While acknowledging the growing migration pressure on the Poland-Belarus border, Wąsik noted that the situation has improved compared to two years ago. In 2021, Poland faced a significant influx of migrants, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, who attempted to enter the country via Belarus after being invited by Lukashenko with false promises of easy access to the EU through Poland. The installation of a new border fence equipped with electronic surveillance resulted in a rapid decline in illegal border crossings.

    In response to the recent developments, the Polish government has decided to deploy additional police and army forces to strengthen border protection along its frontier with Belarus.

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