MINSK, October 28. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that Minsk and Moscow would take a far harder line in light of the military build-up along Belarus' western borders, the BelTA news agency reported.
"The Poles will use Leopard tanks to combat illegal migration on the border with Belarus. Perhaps you are surprised to hear this. I can't imagine how tanks will combat civilians. They are just looking for excuses to move their armed forces closer to our borders, that is, to the borders of the Union State [of Belarus and Russia]," Lukashenko said at a meeting with Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov.
According to the Belarusian president, the authorities see it all clearly. "Naturally, we will provide a very tough response to all that. We will wait for a little longer and issue a warning to them. And then, we also have things to move closer to the border. We have them, to say nothing of Russia. We will act tough here, and shrug off their criticism," Lukashenko stressed.
The Belarusian leader raised concerns over the deployment of Leopard tanks near the country's western border during a working trip to the Grodno Region on October 26. According to earlier reports, the Polish authorities plan to send 2,500 troops to help border guards protect the country's boundary areas from illegal migrants. Poland will also deploy units of the 10th Light Armored Brigade, equipped with Leopard tanks, to the city of Biala Podlaska on the border with Belarus. Meanwhile, a military exercise in Lithuania involving US Abrams tanks and German Leopard tanks was conducted.