Putin: Poland and Belarus border tensions ‘no big deal’

This article is over 2 months old Russia has “nothing to do with” the tense border tensions between the Polish and Belarusian governments, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said. “To suggest that Poland is…

Putin: Poland and Belarus border tensions 'no big deal'

This article is over 2 months old

Russia has “nothing to do with” the tense border tensions between the Polish and Belarusian governments, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said.

“To suggest that Poland is provoking Russia is completely nonsensical,” he said in an interview with Poland’s state broadcaster RTR.

“This situation does not have anything to do with Russia at all. What has happened there has nothing to do with Russia. Russia has nothing to do with this situation,” Putin said, without elaborating.

Russian and Belarusian officials accused each other on Friday of military aggression after Poland and the US imposed sanctions on Moscow, demanding that Moscow turn off a gas line supplying the former Soviet republic.

As Poland scrambled fighter jets and launched cruise missiles into airspace over Syria, it also accused Belarus of deliberately downing a spy plane last week, a highly symbolic strike that drew a sharp rebuke from Moscow.

“Obviously, it is a very tense situation there, as when a country behaves so subversively, such aggression against friendly forces – against it, not for it – is absolutely abnormal,” Putin said.

Poland said the weekend’s events served as a stark warning of the danger posed by Russia’s assertive moves in Europe and beyond, prompting Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, to say the country was standing up to Moscow.

Poland is in the midst of a major military build-up against Russian aggression in Europe, but last week’s move was the first time it had used its nuclear forces.

On Thursday, Putin warned EU leaders of the threats posed by US-led sanctions against Moscow.

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