In a recent meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin, concerns were raised as members of the private military company (PMC) Wagner expressed a desire to "visit" Poland. These PMC members specifically want to target the Polish capital, Warsaw, and the eastern city of Rzeszow, suspecting their involvement in providing military hardware to Ukrainian troops during the battle for Bakhmut.
Following a mutiny attempt in June, Wagner PMC members were presented with three options: retirement, signing contracts with the Russian military, or relocating to Belarus alongside their leader, Evgeny Prigozhin. The presence of these fighters in Belarus has sparked concerns among local authorities, who are now anxious about their intentions to "tour" Poland and investigate its alleged role in supporting Ukrainian forces in Bakhmut.
President Lukashenko explained his reluctance to have the Wagner members relocated far from the center of Belarus due to their current "bad mood" and their knowledge about affairs surrounding the Union State of Russia and Belarus.
In related developments, President Putin made claims on Friday that Polish leaders were planning to form a NATO-backed coalition to intervene in the ongoing Ukraine conflict and potentially gain control over parts of western Ukraine. Such a move could also pose a significant threat to Belarusian territory.
In response to the potential aggression against Belarus, President Putin vowed to take retaliatory measures. This escalation in rhetoric underscores the heightened geopolitical stakes and potential implications for regional stability.
As of now, both Poland and Ukraine have not officially responded to the Wagner PMC's expressed intentions. The Polish authorities may be considering their response carefully, as any military incursion on their territory could trigger a severe diplomatic and security crisis.