Border guards ready to reinforce the border with Belarus: provocations are highly likely

The Lithuanian-Belarusian border. Photo Ruslanas Iržikevičius i
The Lithuanian-Belarusian border. Photo Ruslanas Iržikevičius

The situation at the state border with Belarus and the Russian Federation is currently stable, but the possibility of provocations is high, the commander of the State Border Guard Service (SBGS), General Rustam Liubaev, said on August 8, Indrė Naureckaitė, Agnė Černiauskaitė are writing at the news portal.

“The situation at the state border with Belarus and the Russian Federation is currently stable, but it remains tense.

The possibility of provocations is high, given that Wagner mercenaries are currently deployed in Belarus, but at the moment, we do not see any particular provocations or additional activity along the border with Belarus and the Russian Federation,” said Mr Liubaev.

According to the head of the SBGS, up to 4.5 thousand Wagner mercenaries are already in Belarus.

“There are not very many of them on our border. As of today, they are concentrated on the territory of Belarus, and there are a few more of them near Brest, but there is still a possibility of provocations on our border. That is why we are preparing for it”, said Mr Liubaev.

He assured that the authorities are working on their action plan in case of possible provocations.

“That is why our interaction plans have been coordinated and clarified. The cover plan, I remind you, was approved by the Government. Our detailed plan for the use of the Lithuanian army and other institutions is now being revised. I would mention the Public Security Service and the Lithuanian Police”, said the Head of the SBGS.

According to Mr Liubaev, there is ongoing cooperation between the border guards and their Polish and Latvian colleagues.

“There is regular contact with the Polish Border Guard Service or other institutions and our Latvian colleagues. The measures that are currently in place on our border with Belarus are adequate to the situation.

There are plans in place, deployment plans, and we can deploy additional forces in a very short period of time to respond to the situation on the border,” he explained.

Considers strengthening forces

However, following a meeting with the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior (MoI), the border guards are considering increasing their forces on the border with Belarus.

“By the way, we are currently discussing with the Ministry of Interior the possibility of increasing our capacity at the border with Belarus, i.e. to, deploy additional SBGS staff. The relevant decisions have been taken, and we are planning to increase our contingent at the border with Belarus in the near future,” Liubaev said.

The Head of the SBGS wanted to specify a different number of reinforcements to be made at the border. He also did not specify which other institutions will be involved in the assistance.

“There are representatives of the border guards and other institutions,” Liubaev did not elaborate.

Border guards’ preparedness

Asked to what extent the border guards, who are supposed to be the first to react to provocations, are actually prepared to fight a paramilitary group such as the Wagner mercenaries, Liubaev assured that the relevant algorithms of border guards’ actions are in place and that training sessions are underway.

“The head of the SBGS has approved an instruction which contains the main scenarios of possible provocations at the state border, including resistance to the actions of the border guards by representatives of the migrant group, attempts by certain groups to penetrate the state border, and armed resistance or the shelling of our guards from the territory of Belarus.

Certain algorithms are in place, our border guards have been briefed, and training is ongoing”, he explained.

Liubaev also stressed that if the situation at the state border escalates, there is a possibility to activate a cover plan whereby the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the Lithuanian police and other institutions would aid the border guards.

The Head of the SBGS also confirmed that military exercises are currently taking place in Belarus, where Wagner fighters are also participating, but did not comment further on them.

“These exercises are currently taking place, but they are not very large in scale and do not pose a major threat to us at the moment,” he said.
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