Putin briefed by Belarusian president over concerns Wagner Group may intend aggression toward Poland

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expressed concern that the Wagner group wants to push its operation into Poland. 

In a translated video posted on Twitter, Lukashenko said, "We began to be bothered by the PMC Wagner, asking to go to the West. 'Allow us?' I said, why do you want to go to the West there? And quietly, we're in control of what is happening."

"Well, we'll go on a tour to Warsaw and Rzeszów,'" he said, before continuing, "And Rzeszów is not acceptable to them when they fought near Artemovsk (Bakhmut). They know where the military equipment came from and inside them, they know Reszów means trouble." 

"Of course, I keep them in the center of Belarus as agreed...I wouldn't want to redeploy them there, because they're in a bad mood," he added. "They know what was going on around the Union State, so we will counteract it in every possible way and I would ask that you also look at this issue in terms of our support for Western Ukraine." 

The Wagner Group is a paramilitary unit headed by Yevgeny Pigozhin who initiated a coup attempt against the Russian president at the beginning of June, before ending it and being exiled to Belarus. 

Speaking on the aftermath of the attempt, a University of Michigan professor with a specialty in international policy and diplomacy, Javed Ali told Newsweek, "In the aftermath of the failed Wagner Group mutiny in Russia several weeks ago and the repositioning of Wagner Group elements in Belarus, an attack on Poland or any surrounding NATO country would be incredibly provocative and trigger Article 5 mutual defense obligations that would likely do grave damage to Wagner Group fighters if they made such an attempt."

He said Lukshenko's comment "falls in line with other bombastic rhetoric from President Putin during the Ukraine conflict about other attacks and threats that never materialized."

Russian lawmaker Andrey Kartapolov recently said on Russian state TV, "It is clear that Wagner PMC went to Belarus to train the Belarusian Armed Forces." He added, "Not only and not so much. There is such a thing as the Suwałki Corridor. You know very well what it is. Should anything happen, we need this Suwałki Corridor very much."

Poland recently shifted forces to the eastern side of the country. This prompted Putin to warn the country on Friday that any aggression against Belarus would constitute an attack on Russia.

Reuters wrote that the Russian president delivered a warning to Poland, saying that the western part of the nation was originally given to the country as a gift by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and that Russia would ensure the Poles are reminded about it."


Image: Title: putin belarus
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