MINSK, 28 January (BelTA) – Poland intended to capture a Belarusian border guard in order to later on exchange him for the Polish defector Emil Czeczko, who has requested political asylum in Belarus. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement in his address to the nation and the parliament on 28 January, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “In order to extract this Polish fugitive, Polish military were instructed to capture our border guard for the sake of exchange. I've already warned the Belarusian border service that there will be no exchange. If, god forbid, we allow the capture of our border guard, there will be hell to pay, including for generals.”
BelTA earlier quoted the State Border Committee of Belarus as saying that a Belarusian border patrol stopped a Polish soldier Emil Czeczko, born in 1996, near the Belarusian-Polish border on 16 December. The man said that he is a soldier of the 11th Masurian Artillery Regiment of the 16th Pomeranian Mechanized Division named after King Casimir, which units had been redeployed to guard a section of the Polish-Belarusian border during the state of emergency imposed in Poland's territory near the Belarusian border. The soldier requested political asylum in Belarus due to his disagreement with Poland's policy towards the migrant crisis and the inhumane treatment of refugees.