In a televised Security Council meeting on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a direct warning to Poland, stating that any attack on Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia. He further emphasized that Russia would respond to such aggression with all means at its disposal. Putin's statement comes in response to Poland's decision to re-station military units closer to the Belarusian border following Belarus hosting Wagner mercenary fighters, who are believed to have been conducting joint exercises with the Belarusian army.
Putin suggested that Poland's actions may be driven by its interests in reclaiming eastern territories that were lost to former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, including parts of Ukraine and Belarus. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded to Putin's statement by calling Stalin a war criminal and summoning the ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Germany expressed its support for Poland, stating that Berlin and NATO were prepared to assist in defending the eastern border. Additionally, Bulgaria, a NATO member, has reversed its policy on sending military equipment to Ukraine and has agreed to provide Ukraine with around 100 armored personnel carriers.
In a separate incident, a drone attack on an ammunition depot in Crimea prompted an evacuation and the temporary suspension of road traffic on the bridge linking Crimea to Russia. Although there was an explosion at the depot, no damage or casualties were reported.
These developments highlight the escalating tensions between Russia and its neighboring countries, particularly Poland and Ukraine. The situation is concerning, as any conflict in the region could have far-reaching consequences. It is crucial for all parties involved to exercise restraint and seek diplomatic solutions to prevent further escalation. The international community, particularly NATO, will likely continue to monitor the situation closely and offer support to the affected countries.