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Wagner Group mercenaries in Belarus no longer pose a threat to neighbouring Poland, an expert has claimed – but that doesn’t mean that the country is safe, as its leader Alexander Lukashenko is now long acting ‘independently of the Kremlin’.
The Russian private military organisation has been using Belarus as the staging ground for attacks on Ukraine, but according to Mariusz Patey, an expert from the Warsaw Institute, the group no longer poses a threat on Alexander Lukashenko’s territory.
However, he expressed concerns about other issues.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Patey said: “We have hybrid threats such as stimulating illegal immigration from Asian and African countries, which could destabilise the Polish social policy system and also have an adverse impact on the labor market and social peace if the phenomenon of illegal migration got out of control.”
Patey also pointed out that Belarus could be still used as a base for attacks on Ukraine near the Polish border.
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Such attacks could harm Ukraine’s ability to get support through Poland, and this could escalate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
He said: “The territory of Belarus can be used to attack Ukraine near the border with Poland in order to cut off the Ukrainian army from supplies of material support through Poland.”
Patey’s analysis also cast a shadow over the Lukashenko regime’s autonomy, suggesting that Belarus is no longer an entity separate from the Kremlin’s influence. He added: “The Lukashenko regime can no longer be treated as an entity autonomous from the Kremlin.”
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The expert also raised concerns about Russia’s willingness to act independently of official Minsk when it comes to pursuing its strategic objectives. He warned: “If the Kremlin decides to take any action from Belarus, it will carry it out without regard to official Minsk, using its own resources, Belarusian resources. And under whose flag they will do it, it does not matter to them.”
In Belarus, the field camps that housed several thousand Wagner troops after the mutiny have shrunk following Prigozhin’s death.
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said they could be offered contracts with his military.
Other Wagner forces could return to Ukraine under the auspices of Russia’s National Guard, according to messaging app channels linked to the mercenary group, although there is no official confirmation of such a plan.
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