The United States has vowed to defend Poland according to the commitments of its NATO allies in the event that it is attacked by foreign forces.
During a press conference on July 24, the reporter asked US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller about the recent statements of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko about Wagner troops wanting to enter Poland.
Mr. Miller said: “I just want to reiterate that our alliance with Poland is very strong. Of course, Poland is a member of NATO and we will defend every inch of NATO land, if necessary.”
Earlier, during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on July 23, Belarusian President Lukashenko said that Wagner soldiers stationed in Belarus wanted to move to Poland, which is believed to be a hub for Western weapons to enter Ukraine.
“Perhaps I shouldn’t say this, but I still have to say it. The Wagner group started to make us nervous. They said they wanted to go west. I asked why they wanted to go west, and they said they wanted to make a trip to Warsaw, to Rzeszow,” the Belarusian leader said.
Warsaw is the capital of Poland while the city of Rzeszow in the east of the country is a hub that NATO uses to deliver arms, ammunition, equipment, and repairs to Ukraine.
Poland is a member of NATO sharing borders with Ukraine and Belarus. Poland is also one of the countries that have significantly supported Kyiv since Russia launched a military campaign in the neighboring country.
Poland has tightened security on its border with Belarus since early July in anticipation of threats when Wagner began moving from Russia to Belarus under an agreement with the Kremlin. On July 24, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced the creation of a new unit, stationed near the border with Lithuania in the Suwalki Gap region, which separates Belarus from Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea.
After the failed uprising in Russia at the end of June, Wagner began moving troops and weapons to an abandoned base in Belarus, close to the Polish border. Here, Wagner soldiers train for Belarusian military units.
Last week, Putin warned that any Polish attack on Belarus would be seen as an attack on Russia itself.
Moscow and Minsk currently have a mutual defense treaty, and Russia also maintains a certain military force in Belarus. Last month, Russia confirmed it had begun deploying tactical nuclear weapons in its ally Belarus amid heightened tensions with NATO over Ukraine.
President Putin accused Poland of forming an alliance with Lithuania to control parts of western Ukraine under the guise of peacekeeping and possibly Belarus. However, Polish authorities have denied this allegation.
Poland controlled a swath of territory that now belonged to Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania from 1919 to 1939. This eastern border was turned over to the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.