Belarus Says It Will Investigate A Polish Soldier's Death If Warsaw Sends Information

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Belarusian authorities said Friday they are willing to investigate the death of a Polish soldier who was stabbed at the border last month, but have not received necessary information from Poland.

A statement from the country’s border service said it would undertake a unilateral or joint investigation if Poland presents “concrete information.”

The soldier was stabbed last month at the eastern border with Belarus, Poland’s military said Thursday. Earlier it had said the soldier was stabbed in the chest by a migrant who reached through the bars of the border barrier.

The Polish foreign ministry on Thursday summoned the Belarusian charge d’affaires, demanding that Minsk authorities identify and hand over the soldier’s “murderer,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said.

The situation at the European Union’s eastern border is increasingly tense under pressure from thousands of people from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, trying to force their way through a metal barrier that Poland put up in 2022 to seal the frontier.

Latest figures from the Polish Border Guard say there have been some 17,000 attempts at illegally crossing the border this year.

A spokesman for Warsaw prosecutor’s office, Piotr Skiba, said that an autopsy performed Friday determined that the soldier, Mateusz Sitek, died from a stab wound to the lung that caused central nervous system damage. Media reports said he was 21.