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Poland advises its citizens to leave Belarus

11.10.2022 08:30
Poland has advised its citizens to leave Belarus and cautioned against travel to the eastern neighbour amid rising tensions fueled in part by Russia’s war on Ukraine. 
Poland on Monday recommended its citizens to leave Belarus and advised against travel to the eastern neighbour amid rising tensions fueled in part by Russias war on Ukraine.
Poland on Monday recommended its citizens to leave Belarus and advised against travel to the eastern neighbour amid rising tensions fueled in part by Russia’s war on Ukraine. PAP/Albert Zawada

The guidance was published on Monday evening, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

The Polish government said on its website"We recommend that Polish citizens staying on the territory of the Republic of Belarus leave its territory with available commercial and private means."

Poland’s foreign ministry also stated: “Due to growing tensions, military operations in the region and repeated instances of arrests of Polish citizens, the Foreign Ministry is advising Polish people against travel to Belarus.”

It added: “In case of a deterioration in the situation, the closing of borders and unforeseen situations, evacuation may be difficult.”   

Brussels urges Belarus to stop serving as launch pad for strikes on Ukraine

Earlier on Monday, the European Commission’s foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano urged the regime in Minsk “to immediately stop allowing the territory of Belarus to serve as a launchpad for air strikes, including the very recent missile strikes and drone attacks against Ukraine and the targets in Ukrainian territories," the euronews.com website reported.  

The EU official added that Belarus was making “false accusations" against Ukraine, claiming the government in Kyiv was planning an attack on Belarus.

Stano branded such accusations "totally unfounded, ridiculous" and "utterly unacceptable," stressing that "Ukraine here is the victim. Ukraine is not the aggressor.”

Lukashenko warns Ukraine, deploys forces alongside Russia

Belarus has issued a diplomatic note to Ukraine, urging Kyiv “to stop provocations” against Minsk, the PAP news agency reported.

According to Polish diplomatic sources, the move suggests that Russia is stepping up pressure on Belarus and the formal note may be part of a provocation designed to force Minsk to send its forces to Ukraine, the PAP news agency reported.  

Another aim may be to divert some Ukrainian troops to the Belarus border, Polish diplomats said, according to PAP.

Poland wants the European Union to inform Belarus as a matter of urgency that Minsk’s direct involvement in the war would see it immediately slapped with a fresh package of serious sanctions, PAP also reported.

Meanwhile, following Russia’s mass missile strike on cities across Ukraine on Monday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he had ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces near Ukraine, as a response to what he termed “a clear threat to Belarus from Kyiv and its backers in the West,” the Reuters news agency reported.

Lukashenko said that “strikes on the territory of Belarus” were “being planned” by Ukraine. 

"We have been preparing for this for decades. If necessary, we will respond," he warned.

The government in Kyiv described Lukashenko’s remarks as “insinuations and a possible start of a Russian provocation,” as cited by PAP.

Russia and Belarus are a "Union State" and share a regional military group, which is formed in the event of “an increase in threat levels,” PAP reported. 

Lukashenko on Monday said he had agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to deploy the regional military group, and had started concentrating forces two days previously, apparently following the attack on Russia's key road-and-rail bridge to Crimea on Saturday, according to Reuters.

Belarus borders Ukraine to the north and north west. On February 24, Putin used Belarus as a launching post for his invasion of Ukraine, sending forces and equipment into northern Ukraine from bases in Belarus, Reuters said.      

Tuesday is day 230 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Source: PAP, gov.pl, Reuters, dailymail.co.uk, euronews.com