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Poland says it is taking steps to counter any threat from military drills in Belarus

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Poland is taking all steps necessary to counter any threats that could take place during military exercises in Belarus organised by the Russian army that will start on Sept. 10, the defence ministry said on Thursday.

Poland is expected to announce a state of emergency on Thursday in regions bordering Belarus after a sharp increase in migrants from countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan trying to cross the border, and the “West-2021” exercises have added to tensions.

“We are using all means possible to monitor this exercise,” the defence ministry said in an emailed statement.

“At the same time, we are taking all necessary (political and military) measures to neutralise possible threats or provocations,” it said, adding that it would not give exact details of what the measures were.

The “West-2021” drills will involve thousands of service personnel, including those from Moscow-led defence bloc member Kazakhstan, as well as tanks, artillery and aircraft. 

Photo: Soldiers of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division in the Orzysz training ground, Orzysz, north Poland. EPA-EFE/Tomasz Waszczuk