Poland's security committee decided in a meeting on Wednesday to move military units to the country's east due to the Wagner Group's presence in Belarus, state-run news agency PAP quoted its secretary as saying on Friday.
Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin was shown in a video on Wednesday welcoming his fighters to Belarus, telling them they would take no further part in the Ukraine war for now but ordering them to gather their strength for Africa while they trained the Belarusian army.
On Thursday, the Belarusian defense ministry said Wagner mercenaries had started to train Belarusian special forces at a military range just a few miles from the border with NATO-member Poland.
The provocation of the joint forces
"Training or joint exercises of the Belarusian army and the Wagner Group is undoubtedly a provocation," Zbigniew Hoffmann told PAP.
"The Committee analyzed possible threats, such as the dislocation of Wagner Group units. Therefore, the Minister of National Defense, chairman of the Committee, Mariusz Blaszczak, decided to move our military formations from the west to the east of Poland."
People living near Poland's border with Belarus said on Thursday they could hear shooting and helicopters after Russia's Wagner Group arrived to train Belarusian special forces, compounding their fears the Ukraine war would reach them.
Defense Minister Blasczak said earlier this month that Poland began moving over 1,000 troops to the east of the country.
Also at the beginning of July Poland said it would send 500 policeto shore up security at the border with Belarus.