Tensions increase after Polish military helicopter trespasses Belarus
The Foreign Ministry of Belarus said that Poland must provide an explanation of the incident and launch an investigation.
On Friday, the Belarusian border service claimed that a Polish military helicopter had violated the state border.
"On September 1, Belarusian border guards recorded a violation of the Belarusian airspace by Poland in the Berastavitsa district of the Grodno Region. A Polish Mi-24 military helicopter crossed the state border at an extremely low altitude, entered a total of 1200 meters [3,900 feet] into the territory of Belarus, and then turned back," the Belarusian border service said on Telegram.
In connection w/ the recorded fact of violation of the state border of #Belarus by a helicopter of the Polish Armed Forces on September 1, 2023, the Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of Poland in Belarus has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry of Belarus— Belarus MFA 🇧🇾 (@BelarusMFA) September 1, 2023
Western pressure on Belarus has been piling up for years over its relationship with Russia, especially during the conflict in Ukraine but has recently taken a sharp upward trend after Ukraine's counteroffensive proved to be unsuccessful.
Polish envoy summoned in Belarus
After the incident occurred, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry summoned the Polish charge d'affaires to discuss the incident.
"In connection with the recorded fact of the violation of the state border of the Republic of Belarus by a helicopter of the Polish armed forces, on September 1, 2023, the Charge d'affaires of Poland in Belarus Wojciech Filimonowicz was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry," the statement said.
The Ministry added that Poland must provide an explanation of the incident and launch an investigation.
"Poland must provide an appropriate explanation and conduct a thorough investigation of the incident. The results of the investigation and the causes of the incident, as is customary in international communication, should be provided to the Belarusian side within a reasonable time," the Ministry concluded.
In reaction to the accusation, Poland said it will carefully analyze information regarding the violation of Belarus's airspace, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said on Friday.
"We will analyze the situation, but we need to deal with such statements from the Belarusian services with great caution since they are a part of the [Belarusian President Alexander] Lukashenko's regime," Jablonski told reporters.