Belarus says Polish helicopter violated airspace, Poland denies

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Belarus said a Polish helicopter on Thursday violated its airspace as tensions rage between the two countries amid the conflict in Ukraine.

“At about 15:20 (1220 GMT), an aircraft crossed the border of the Republic of Belarus,” the defense ministry said, adding that the helicopter flew up to 1.5 kilometers inside Belarus’ airspace.

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“At 16:22 (1322 GMT) the helicopter again violated the state border,” the statement said.

The defense ministry said it scrambled aircraft but provided no further details.

Poland said none of its helicopters had violated Belarusian airspace.

“The Operational Command unequivocally denies these reports. None of the Polish helicopters crossed the airspace of Belarus,” a spokesperson of the Operational Command of the Armed Forces told Reuters.

Belarus has repeatedly accused the EU member of breaching its airspace. Warsaw denies the claims.

Relations between Minsk and Warsaw, frozen for years, have hit new lows since Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko allowed Moscow to use his country to attack Ukraine.

Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters since Russia sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022 and is one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers.

Last week the Kremlin said that both Moscow and its ally Belarus were “watching” Poland closely, calling it a “rather aggressive” country.

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