Amidst Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, Belarus exhibited strong solidarity with President Vladimir Putin. Poland’s recent declaration of deploying 10,000 troops to its Belarus border has heightened tensions. Concurrently, the US is advising its citizens to leave the region.
On the 21st of August, the US Embassy in Belarus’ capital, Minsk, issued a cautionary alert, urging American nationals to refrain from traveling to the Eastern European nation. Presently situated US citizens are advised to promptly exit the country. The embassy proposes that Americans consider entering Lithuania or Latvia if feasible, or alternatively, arrange for evacuation by boarding available flights.
As per the advisory, entry into Poland from Belarus is prohibited for American citizens. The travel advisory was issued in response to the Belarusian government’s ongoing support for Russia’s unwarranted assault on Ukraine, coupled with Russia’s increasing military presence within Belarus. There are indications that mercenaries associated with the Wagner Group, currently present in Belarus, have stationed themselves along Poland’s border.
Polish President Andrzej Duda asserted on a Tuesday that Russia was transferring short-range nuclear weaponry into Belarus. Back in July, both Putin and the unrecognized Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, stated that the Kremlin had dispatched tactical nuclear arms to the nation. These weapons possess a limited range compared to nuclear warheads and exhibit comparatively lesser destructive force. Nevertheless, their potential use remains perilous, signifying a deeply alarming intensification of conflict.
President Duda of Poland remarked that this relocation of weaponry is altering the security dynamics within that sector of NATO.
In the meantime, Lukashenko has communicated his decision to permit Russia’s deployment of these armaments within Belarus, citing his intention to dissuade Poland from launching any aggression towards his nation. However, the Polish government has not made any hostile declarations.
American citizens located in Belarus are advised to establish a contingency strategy independent of assistance from the US government. They are also encouraged to stay vigilant about both local and global news sources for updates and any unfolding developments.