In Poland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it must take “immediate measures” to prevent bloodshed on the newly opened border between the countries, with Belarus allegedly threatening to send forces across the frontier.
Vladimir Patrushev, the head of the Kremlin’s security council, claimed on Wednesday that Poland and Belarus had agreed to annex areas of the landlocked, Russian-speaking eastern European country, and that the Union of Orthodox Churches agreed to the situation. A spokesperson for the Belarusian Security Council said it would not allow any increase in tension on its border.
Relations between Poland and Belarus have long been tense, but tensions have increased after Donald Trump’s administration restored relations with the Communist-ruled, ex-Soviet country. Russia believes that the increased pressure from Warsaw could embolden the Polish government and its far-right rhetoric against Moscow.
The border dispute coincides with increased fighting in Ukraine, prompting worry in EU capitals that Russia could be planning to revive a conflict with NATO’s easternmost members. Poland, which hosts 9,000 American military personnel, also pointed to the Schengen area at risk of falling into Russia’s sphere of influence.