Poland, Baltics call on Belarus to expel Wagner mercenaries

Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have demanded that Belarus expel Russia's Wagner mercenary group from its territory.

The interior ministers of those countries met in Poland on Monday and issued a joint statement.

The statement says the countries will jointly stand against any attempt by Russia and Belarus to destabilize the situation in the region. It said they could possibly close border crossings if an incident takes place. Latvia, Lithuania and Poland share a border with Belarus.

Local media quoted Lithuanian Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite as saying that there are criteria that could lead to a border closure. The minister said one of the criteria is an armed incident at the border of one of the countries, and that the incident would need to pose a serious threat to the security of the countries.

The countries have been wary of the Wagner group's activities in Belarus since June. The statement signals that they will maintain their wary stance against the group, even after the death of Wagner's leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.