Ukraine’s interior minister said on Thursday that Ukraine would deploy another 8,500 soldiers and police officers and 15 helicopters to guard its border with Belarus, aimed at deterring possible attempts by migrants to breach the border.
The European Union has accused Belarus of encouraging migrants to immigrate to its territory in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Minsk and then prompting thousands to cross into Poland and other neighboring EU states.
While not a member of the European Union, Ukraine is wary of becoming another front in the migrant crisis.
Interior Minister Denis Monastirsky said the new forces would include 3,000 border guard soldiers, 3,500 National Guard soldiers and 2,000 police officers.
“Aviation [from] The Interior Ministry will also be on duty, especially 15 helicopters, which will ensure mobility and, if necessary, move our forces to the border,” he said.
Monastirsky said earlier on Thursday that Ukraine’s border guards, police and national guard would conduct exercises along the border with Belarus.
“To counter the possible crisis with migrants, we will involve all five structures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs without exception,” the minister said in the statement.
Monastirsky said the latest action would prevent migrants from entering Ukraine, but the former Soviet republic needed to re-equip its border with neighboring Russia and Belarus to avoid similar problems in the future.
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